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Mattcrampy
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The gag order has been lifted.

You may want to read this first:

http://www.drod.net/Articles/JtRH.html

If you have any further questions, ask them here, and the men of the hour, the Caravel team, will come along and answer them to the best of their ability.

And trust me, these guys? They can do anything. This one time, I saw Mike Rimer fly by my house. No kidding!

Matt

[Edited by Mattcrampy at Local Time:03-25-2005 at 08:31 PM]

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11-21-2004 at 11:26 AM
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wackhead_uk
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Can we ask anything about JtRH?

That's my question.

But seriously, I look forward to the hold which appears to be a concoction of many people's ideas and thoughts.

[Edited by wackhead_uk at Local Time:11-21-2004 at 11:32 AM]
11-21-2004 at 11:30 AM
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Rabscuttle
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Questions:

The wubbas are a concerning new threat - they won't slide along walls like roaches do, sticking in place unless they get the opportunity to move where they want to. They don't seem to hurt Beethro, either, but surely underneath their cute, bouncy exterior lies a heart of pure evil...

I'm not sure how they move from the description. Do they stay still until you come near them?

Beethro has a helper with him - Halph will sometimes wander in after Beethro enters a room. You can get Halph to follow you, and you can send him to open a door by tapping it. Halph won't disturb trapdoors, and monsters won't attack him. In fact, Halph manages to get over closed doors, down pits, and ahead of Beethro. He's a strange, strange kid.

You mean he's not roach-bait? :lol Does tapping mean 'hitting it with your sword' or 'clicking with the mouse'?

--

The scripting looks fascinating.

Can the scripts be easily copied from one hold to another?
Can scripts place new monsters/characters on the map?
Are characters limited to 'legal moves'?
I'm thinking it might be possible to program in the functionality of some of the unincluded monsters (and maybe a Neether Turing Machine :fun )

11-21-2004 at 11:32 AM
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Mattcrampy
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From another thread:

Will we be unable to download user holds unless we have a subscription to CaravelNet?

No. You can still upload and download user holds through the forum and import them as you already do for AE. Nothing will change on that front. What CaravelNet does is allow you to download them in the game, essentially cutting out the browser.

There may be call for people to create holds and have them only available to registered users, but I figure then everyone will do it and those poor people who are broke get left out of the community.

Matt

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11-21-2004 at 11:32 AM
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:rolleyes
I like what I'm seeing. Really...
I hope the beta testing won't take too long.
pressure plates aren't in JtRH either. Maybe the next one.
They would've been useful... But there seems to be plenty of other stuff instead, so I'm not mad :)
11-21-2004 at 11:35 AM
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wackhead_uk
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Really good bits:

Spiders
Stone golems
Black gates
(The?) Seep
11-21-2004 at 11:41 AM
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bdwing
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Will "Journey to Rooted Hold" be available in a box with a manual and CD or will it be only available as a download?

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11-21-2004 at 11:47 AM
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Mattcrampy
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wackhead_uk wrote:
Can we ask anything about JtRH?

You can ask. We might not answer, but then we'll tell you why, like it's a spoiler or something.

Actually, there is one thing we will make like Architects and clam up about, but it's only tangentially related to JtRH.

Concerning wubbas:

I'm not sure how they move from the description. Do they stay still until you come near them?

Normally, when roaches try to move diagonally, if they're blocked from doing that (say by a wall) they'll move either horizontally or vertically if they can do that instead. When wubbas try and move diagonally, and they're blocked from doing that, they'll stay in place. It makes stick to the walls a little.

Does tapping mean 'hitting it with your sword' or 'clicking with the mouse'?

Neither. You bump against the wall, and Halph goes to the orb, or tells you if he can't make it.

Can the scripts be easily copied from one hold to another?

Not easily. You'd need to copy them from room to room.

Can scripts place new monsters/characters on the map?

Not as such. The scripts are attached to Characters, though, and you can turn a character into a monster, which will then behave like a normal monster.

Are characters limited to 'legal moves'?

If they're visible. You can make invisible characters, who will then speak off-screen, or you can get them to speak so their caption is at a particular place, which we use to great effect in the hold.

Characters, notably, can't kill Beethro. You need to turn them into monsters for that.

I'm thinking it might be possible to program in the functionality of some of the unincluded monsters

It might be - I don't know. I'm not sure the scripting is advanced enough to do that, although you can do a wide variety of weird effects. (Characters appear as regular creatures, so you could, for example, make a huge swarm of roaches, which veer off at the last second and run down a side passage).

Matt

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11-21-2004 at 11:48 AM
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Tim
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Some questions:

1) quote: Matt Schikore (or our very own Schik) wrote a lot of one of the best new features, which I shall mention later on.

So what did he wrote? Sorry if I'm too stupid to get this one...

2) Will we be able to cut and paste (scripting) text into JtRH?

3) Sometimes I do get a popup about slow performance on my machine, will this mean I have to buy a new one for JtRH?

4) sharonk is/was a test user. Does that mean that today it was exactly four years ago JtRH was started?

5) Can I congratulate you all for your perserverence of keeping this secret for four years?

-- Tim

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11-21-2004 at 12:00 PM
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Mattcrampy
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Tim wrote:

1) quote: Matt Schikore (or our very own Schik) wrote a lot of one of the best new features, which I shall mention later on.

So what did he wrote? Sorry if I'm too stupid to get this one...

Schik wrote the CaravelNet stuff.

2) Will we be able to cut and paste (scripting) text into JtRH?

It's not done via text - we've made it so you've got a dialog, and you pick what command you want to do on this line. I might leave it for Mike to explain.

3) Sometimes I do get a popup about slow performance on my machine, will this mean I have to buy a new one for JtRH?

So did I, actually. I don't think I've gotten one for JtRH, although admittedly I got a new machine two weeks ago. But see how the free version works - your machine will most likely not choke on JtRH.

4) sharonk is/was a test user. Does that mean that today it was exactly four years ago JtRH was started?

I'm not... entirely sure what's up with sharonk's birthday. But no.

5) Can I congratulate you all for your perserverence of keeping this secret for four years?

Well, JtRH is built on the AE codebase, although it's been mostly completely rewritten. So it's only really been secret for one year.

But yes, you may.

Matt

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11-21-2004 at 12:12 PM
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Stuwy
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Wow, and a secret that's worth telling. JtRL looks even more fantastic than I thought! However:

Is CaravelNet based on a monthly paying subscription type or is it yearly? (Or is it not decided yet)

A suggestion (well maybe) I have is that everybody can vote for a specific hold and we can have some sort of "Top Ten Best Rated Holds" section that's available to download.


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11-21-2004 at 12:35 PM
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Zmann
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Eww. Monthly or yearly fees? Everything else looks great though. Can't wait to play around with these new monsters.

Another question: if you don't have caravelnet is it still possible to get new holds? Or can someone just release a hold exclusively to caravelnet?
11-21-2004 at 01:26 PM
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Mattcrampy
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The pricing for CaravelNet hasn't been worked out, but the super-secret plan is basically to sell an extra x amount of time with all of the commercial Caravel releases, where x is the amount of time between Caravel releases. The whole idea is that we don't intend to tie you down to paying monthly bills or whatever to us just for the ability to check high scores in game.

We may instead make CaravelNet a lifetime subscription, depends on what we can work out and what you're all willing to go with.

And, as I mentioned before, the CaravelNet features are an extension to what we've already got, which will remain free. You can still download holds without paying us a cent. You will still be able to import holds into JtRH. We aren't taking any of the functionality away, nor will we.

Matt

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11-21-2004 at 03:16 PM
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eytanz
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A few notes about scripting, since there were questions:

- Scripting is handled by an in-game GUI. No commands need to be written.
- Scripting may seem somewhat restricted when you originally see it, but it's actually extremely powerful. Even though the scripting was designed to fit JtRH's needs, I don't think we scratched the surface building that hold. I know I keep coming up with new scripting tricks.
- That said, I'd wait with questions about the scripting until JtRH is closer to release. It's the most complicated part of the editor and it's difficult to explain how it works if you can't actually see it. There will be plenty of time to play with it once JtRH is released. For now, just concentrate on all the other cool things that are coming!

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11-21-2004 at 03:44 PM
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mrimer
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Here's some more information about the CaravelNet stuff referenced by my esteemed colleague, Matt C. Having a CaravelNet subscription enables your installation of DROD:JtRH to interface with the DROD site while playing the game. (I know because I was there.) Account information is entered on the user settings screen, where one can enable or disable DROD connecting to Caravel's site on the internet (like the forum) while you play, being able to watch hi-score demos from all over the world at will, and also uploading your own record-breaking feats for JtRH and all other published holds (i.e. the ones on the Holds board) for super bragging rights. It can also track your progress, so you can watch how far registered players are getting in your very own published holds in real time.

Regarding scripting: for convenience and simplicity -- and to prevent most of the bugs that can easily happen when you're writing a computer program -- it's dialog-based, not text based. NPCs (non-player characters) are generally used for advancing a story, but they can be used in constructing all types of puzzles. There is the potential for huge abuses of the "true DROD" system here, and as always it is up to the architect to make rooms that are not only challenging but also fun to play.

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11-21-2004 at 03:44 PM
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I, alas, have a couple of questions as well:

1. You mention that black gates will drop when living tar or another type is cleared out of the room. What is the other kind?

2. Cripes! How are you handling all of the graphics in the game? (File-wise)

3. Will the game be availible on CD with a manual or is it only download?

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11-21-2004 at 04:04 PM
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mrimer
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gamer_extreme_101 wrote:
1. You mention that black gates will drop when living tar or another type is cleared out of the room. What is the other kind?
Oh, ho, ho! That would be telling.
2. Cripes! How are you handling all of the graphics in the game? (File-wise)
JtRH graphics are packaged right into the data files. There are ways of making independent mods (of course), but currently there is no documentation available for that.
3. Will the game be available on CD with a manual or is it only download?
Yes, having both options is inherently cool. We would like to sell the game in both hard- and electronic form. There are still a few details left to work out there, however, that we'll be taking care of during beta.

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11-21-2004 at 04:19 PM
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How do I make voices for characters? Is there some kind of text to voice translator or do I have to make all sound files separately.

1. Text to Voice translators are usually very bad
2. You'll need some equipment to make sound files yourself. It's more complicated but more flexible.
3. Don't sound files boost hold size a lot when they're included with it?

And one more thing:
Mrimer wrote
Oh, ho, ho! That would be telling.
But the last sentence in the upcoming report is this:
Ask. We're allowed to answer now.
11-21-2004 at 04:27 PM
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Mattcrampy
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I said "we're allowed to answer", not that we have to.

It's a spoiler, in other words.

How do I make voices for characters?

In the script dialogue, when you've selected the "Speech" command, there'll be an option to play a sound file in conjunction with the line you intend to deliver. so, yes, you'll need a mic. They're ten bucks for a usable one.

And yes, sound files do boost the hold size, so don't go overboard. There's been some discussion on using CaravelNet to get around this.

Yes, having both options is inherently cool. We would like to sell the game in both hard- and electronic form. There are still a few details left to work out there, however, that we'll be taking care of during beta.

I thought it would be really cool if we could distribute DROD via Steam, in a way. Probably wouldn't be such a good business idea, but still, it would be cool.

Matt

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11-21-2004 at 04:36 PM
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ClaytonW
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First off, I have to say that I was present during development, but was more of a fly on the wall throughout the process. I did speak up when JtRH needed some initial testing, and boy, what a ride! JtRH is indeed a fine piece-o-work, despite some skepticism I had early on.

So I did some testing, and unearthed a few bugs, but I've spent most of the time creating some DROD fan art that I hope will be made available to the rest of the community soon (perhaps after I finish a few more pieces).

And lets just say that the Slayer and I are bitter, bitter enemies. Mike would build him up, and I'd tear him down... several times. The Slayer is one mean dude now.
11-21-2004 at 04:54 PM
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Fafnir
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Woohoo! Everything looks incredible, although I have no idea how Eytan found the time to work on both JtRH and EyAngband. 'A few' questions:

How reliant is the commercial hold on scripting? IMAO it would be a shame not to have at least a few levels similar to the old DROD.

How is the Slayer's whip handled? Is it like Beethro's sword in that it takes him a full move to rotate it 45 degrees and Beethro can be killed only by contact with the whip (not the Slayer)? If so, how well does the AI handle tricks such as backswiping when it comes to attacking Beethro?

Orthogonal squares sound very interesting (and potentially very evil) - are there going to be any other new tile types?

Speaking as a severe arachnophobic, how realistic are the spiders now?

Now you can see when roaches, long monsters and tar will spawn or turn or appear or whatever.

Does that mean the times at which long monsters turn are based off the spawn clock in DROD, or is that in relation to a new monster? You also said 'long monsters' rather than snakes - does that mean anything?

Let me guess how the wubbas hurt Beethro: you can't kill them with your sword, and a group of them can surround him and render him immobile?

Can you still cut bomb fuses?

Is there some way of spotting secret walls? The idea sounds like searching for secret rooms could be reduced to touching every wall panel in hopes of finding a secret one.

Will there be a step-through debugger for the scripting? Considering the possibility of spaghetti code, I think it could be very useful.

You imply with the image floor type that you can use different floors within a room. Is that true?

You say you haven't changed monster behaviour, but in the screenshot the spawn clock is at thirty and the roach eggs have been laid (as opposed to the roaches having just hatched). Are those scripted roach queens or something similar?

I'm in the UK. If I buy a CD and manual version, will the postage costs and time be at their normal (lengthy and expensive) rates when ordering from the US? Would I be able to download a copy to keep me going until it arrives?

How's the music going to be encoded?

When you say the KDD ending won't be coming back, do you mean that there isn't a similar ending to JtRH, that the ending from KDD won't work on JtRH or both?

Can you import hold completion data from DROD?

Again, JtRH looks like it's going to be incredible and I'm certain to buy a copy. Excellent work! :thumbsup

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11-21-2004 at 05:27 PM
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Fafnir wrote:
You say you haven't changed monster behaviour, but in the screenshot the spawn clock is at thirty and the roach eggs have been laid (as opposed to the roaches having just hatched). Are those scripted roach queens or something similar?
The spawn counter goes to 30 after 1. The eggs appear at the start of every spawn cycle and hatch when spawn counter is 26 or so. Roach queen behaviour has not changed in that picture.
11-21-2004 at 05:37 PM
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Mattcrampy wrote:
The gag order has been lifted.

You may want to read this first:

http://www.drod.net/Upcoming/JtRH.html

If you have any further questions, ask them here, and the men of the hour, the Caravel team, will come along and answer them to the best of their ability.

And trust me, these guys? They can do anything. This one time, I saw Mike Rimer fly by my house. No kidding!

Matt

Will it be available as a Linux source/binary as well?
11-21-2004 at 05:52 PM
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Fafnir
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Oops :p

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11-21-2004 at 06:07 PM
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eytanz
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Fafnir wrote:
Woohoo! Everything looks incredible, although I have no idea how Eytan found the time to work on both JtRH and EyAngband. 'A few' questions:

Well, I haven't done much in EyAngband for a while, though JtRH isn't to blame, my studies are. EyAngband requires a whole lot more out of me than JtRH did - for JtRH, all I did was design rooms and make feature requests/complaints to Mike, and then he and Adam did all the real work of implementing them. So I could handle that while also working on my research.

Had I been able to work on EyAngband as much as I wanted to, I probably wouldn't have joined the JtRH team.

How reliant is the commercial hold on scripting? IMAO it would be a shame not to have at least a few levels similar to the old DROD.

Scripting is used to introduce story elements. Very few rooms actually involve any sort of scripting in the puzzles, and those that do only use scripting in the puzzle setup (say, to have the puzzle start once Beethro is in the middle of the room), not in the actual puzzle.

So most of JtRH is similar to the old DROD in that regard, except that occasionally monsters speak to you or Beethro will comment on something.

Halph and the Slayer are both rather complicated elements different from anything that's in DROD 1.6, but neither actually depend on scripting - they're just monsters with rather sophisticated AIs.

How is the Slayer's whip handled? Is it like Beethro's sword in that it takes him a full move to rotate it 45 degrees and Beethro can be killed only by contact with the whip (not the Slayer)? If so, how well does the AI handle tricks such as backswiping when it comes to attacking Beethro?

It's actually a scythe-like weapon, not a whip. The slayer can kill Beethro both by hitting him with his weapon, or by moving onto him like a regular monster. And yes, it takes the slayer a turn to rotate his weapon, just like Beethro. As for the AI, you'll have to trust me on this, but the Slayer knows all the tricks :).

Orthogonal squares sound very interesting (and potentially very evil) - are there going to be any other new tile types?

One thing that Matt didn't mention in his article but I think isn't a spoiler - because they're on the very first level - are tunnels. You can go from one tunnel entrance to another in one move. Other than that, most of the new tile types are cosmetic rather than gameplay influencing.

Speaking as a severe arachnophobic, how realistic are the spiders now?

About as realistic as the serpents are.

Now you can see when roaches, long monsters and tar will spawn or turn or appear or whatever.

Does that mean the times at which long monsters turn are based off the spawn clock in DROD, or is that in relation to a new monster?

The times they turn aren't influenced on the clock, but the direction they prefer (horizontal or vertical) is, and this is already the case in 1.6.

You also said 'long monsters' rather than snakes - does that mean anything?

No.

Can you still cut bomb fuses?

No. That made it very difficult to design bomb puzzles since it's very difficult to control the sword direction without making the room very unforgiving. Trust me on this, bombs became a lot more fun once that was changed.

Is there some way of spotting secret walls? The idea sounds like searching for secret rooms could be reduced to touching every wall panel in hopes of finding a secret one.

If you look carefully you can see them. Some of them are hinted at otherwise. But there are no puzzles in the official hold which depend on you finding a secret wall to be solvable.

Will there be a step-through debugger for the scripting?
Considering the possibility of spaghetti code, I think it could be very useful.

No, and there really doesn't need to be one. The scripting isn't that sophisticated, and it takes a lot of effort to write a script that'll come close to being described as spaghetti.

Seriously, as for the scripting - don't build your hopes (or fears) up too much. It's not a programming language. In some ways, it's less powerful than the scripting Erik wrote for the 'neather. It's a lot more versatile, though, and can be used for a lot of cool stuff that would be impossible otherwise.

It's primary function, however, is to code NPCs, not puzzle elements.

You imply with the image floor type that you can use different floors within a room. Is that true?

Yes. There are 3 "styles", each of which has several associated floor types. Each room is limited to one style, but there's a lot more room for variation within each style.

When you say the KDD ending won't be coming back, do you mean that there isn't a similar ending to JtRH, that the ending from KDD won't work on JtRH or both?

The ending from KDD won't work on JtRH. JtRH won't have a similar ending in the sense that we're not reusing the same idea.


[Edited by eytanz at Local Time:11-21-2004 at 06:47 PM]

[Edited by eytanz at Local Time:11-21-2004 at 07:19 PM]

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11-21-2004 at 06:44 PM
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gamer_extreme_101
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icon Re: Ask Things About JtRH (0)  
Will the Hints and Solutions board be integrated with the game with a subscription to CaravelNet?

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11-21-2004 at 06:54 PM
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Oneiromancer
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vniksic wrote:
Will it be available as a Linux source/binary as well?

trick has been keeping his Linux conversion steadily updated with the Windows version, so yes, it should be available at the same time.

gamer_extreme_101 wrote:
Will the Hints and Solutions board be integrated with the game with a subscription to CaravelNet?

Well, the holds will be integrated into the Insert DROD Room image feature in some way when they are submitted to the forum...I think we talked a bit about having a DBOD (Deadly Browser of Death) wherein one could view the hints from the game, but we agreed it would foster a lack of community and so it was dropped. Schik would know more about that.

Game on,


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11-21-2004 at 07:17 PM
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Fafnir
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icon Re: Ask Things About JtRH (0)  
Will there be a Hall of Legendary Smitemasters equivalent for those who have beaten the game?

Matt mentioned other commercial Caravel releases while talking about CaravelNet - will these be new JtRH holds, sequels to JtRH or something completely different?

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11-21-2004 at 08:00 PM
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wackhead_uk
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Mattcrampy wrote:
And trust me, these guys? They can do anything. This one time, I saw Mike Rimer fly by my house. No kidding!

Erik finally let you into the real world now it's finished, eh?

[Edited by wackhead_uk at Local Time:11-21-2004 at 08:16 PM]
11-21-2004 at 08:12 PM
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eytanz
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wackhead_uk wrote:
Mattcrampy wrote:
And trust me, these guys? They can do anything. This one time, I saw Mike Rimer fly by my house. No kidding!

Erik finally let you into the real world now it's finished, eh?

[Edited by wackhead_uk at Local Time:11-21-2004 at 08:16 PM]

The basement became crowded, since Erik had to use it to lock up all the beta-testers from the first round of beta-testing after it was done (so that they won't go around letting everyone know the secrets of JtRH).



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11-21-2004 at 08:18 PM
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