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Xindaris
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icon The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
So, over the past couple of weeks of doing the Alphabet Stream, I spent the majority of the time looking at all of the entries of the Unfortunate Architect Compilation. Since the stream is about trying each hold, I think I used to not make an effort to try every entry of a contest hold, but lately I've more or less been thinking "well, each entry is kinda like a small hold in its own right, so I really should". But..I didn't have a very good time, and I complained some about it. At the same time, I think I had a tough time articulating my problem. A lot of it was me saying that certain rooms felt like tedious slogs or looked like they were going to be so unpleasant that I just didn't want to play them. Here's an example of a room I skipped out on as soon as I saw it:

Click here to view the secret text


Just look at this mess. I've got to run around pretty much the entire room space, pushing TWELVE orbs while dealing with basically a continual wall of roaches, just so I can walk down a ridiculously long hallway to push a 13th orb, and then slowly chug my way through all the roaches that inevitably will spawn and then maybe kill the queens if I'm lucky. Doesn't look fun to me.

But, Entrropic (who I think is mxvladi?? I'm sorry, I genuinely can't remember) in chat disagreed with me, and thinks this room is good. Nuntar was there too, and the general thrust of their argument seemed to be that modern DROD players don't enjoy rooms that involve a lot of tactics and running around, only "small, clean" rooms. I would go so far as to say the former basically characterizes good horde rooms.

And I thought: That can't be right. I must like horde rooms, because I keep building them! Bearing in mind that my way of building rooms is to protoype them, test them, tweak them, test them again...so if I built a room, then I played it several times, and if I kept something I played several times then I must have liked it!

I mean, just look at this room from tv dinner:
Click here to view the secret text


Or how about these rooms in Beethro's Awakening, which were built quite a while ago, but I still think I like them:
Click here to view the secret text

Actually, my internal devil's advocate wants to know how that second one is not just like the one I refused to try above?

So, I don't think "horde room" or "tactics" is actually the problem. I think the problem I have with a lot of "old DROD design" that used to be considered good back then is just that there's this tendency to put too much. Here's a non-horde example from the same entry as above:
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I actually thought I liked this room when I thought I was finished with it. It's a neat thing that requires you to figure out a clever way to kill the goblins while your movement is restricted by the eyes. But what you might not see at first in that screenshot (and what I certainly didn't!) is that THERE IS A WRAITHWING NORTH OF THE WALL. Why? The room had a neat puzzle, and now that I'm done with it, why do I have to fuss with painstakingly tugging this wraithwing around and manipulating it into place where I can kill it with a very limited floor space? That is the content of a completely separate, different room that has been stuffed into this one that was already good enough.

Or just look at this mess (same entry):
Click here to view the secret text

Again, I think there's a good puzzle, but it's buried in so much junk that in my opinion just doesn't need to be a part of the same room. The good puzzle (to me) is needing to carefully care a path from west to east through the cracked walls to hit the orb, and then walk back out to the west to kill the eyes and finish the room.
But oh no, that wasn't enough for this room! We had to also have those 8 queens there, which require me to carefully time the orb press and then figure out how to get west as efficiently as possible and then the precise movements necessary to survive a miniature roach horde where I can't move east/west thanks to those eyes to kill the queens. And that's still not enough, because if I'm not careful about which walls I break on the way back to the west, it's still possible for the north eyes to see me while I'm killing the south ones, or vise-versa, because at no point does the room close a door that blocks the eyes from seeing each other. As one final kick in the face, the north eyes are really close to a room edge and some running back and forth is needed to finish off the eyes, and if you accidentally press north in the wrong place your progress in the room will be reset.

So let's go back to that horde room I refused to try, vs. the one in Beethro's Awakening. I would say that the main difference here is also a matter of "too much": The difference between 12 orbs, running down a really long hallway, and slogging back out again, and killing just 5 brains before immediately being able to just go kill the queens, is huge. The wraithwings and orthosquares also provide a bit of variety to the experience, but (in my opinion) without going overboard.
As for the other horde rooms of mine that I showed above, each of them has something that keeps them from taking forever--a timer, a limited number of roaches instead of endlessly-spawning queens, etc.

I think that for me personally, the problem is all about putting too much into a single room. Because if I spend a long time chopping roaches in the middle of a room, and then have to go back to before I did that because I messed something up earlier and then I have to do it all over again, that's just no fun. Or, if I feel like I solved the central puzzle of a room, I really don't appreciate the "credit" for doing so being locked behind another thing that, even if it isn't hard (like that wraithwing), is fussy and takes a while to do.

Oh and, do you know which entries I liked in that compilation? Even though I didn't solve very many rooms in them, I liked Rabscuttle's and Doom's entries just fine. I get the impression right away that, if I sat down to play through those entries seriously and try to solve all the rooms, I would generally have a good time. I did not get that impression from most other entries, including apparently the winning one. The rooms weren't necessarily even that much shorter, but I got an actual sense of focus from them and not "let's throw in this extra wraithwing to ruin the player's day".

I'm sure that thinking like this is part of the push for "clean" rooms. But I don't think that "cleanness" is even what I, personally, want in every single room. I just want a limit on how much I'm going to have to redo if I screw something up early on, because I know that I will.

Anyway, I posted this rant in some hope to get the opinions of more people than myself, as well as to hopefully articulate my frustration with certain architectural quirks of the "good" holds of the JtRH/AE era. I don't have a solid, single question to ask about this, but I guess I wonder if other people feel the same about some rooms having "too much" or if there's other reasons to gravitate away from "messy" room design and toward "clean".

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 01-24-2021 07:40 PM]
01-24-2021 at 05:49 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
The "tactics" vs "puzzles" camps have been around since there was a forum. But I also think the forum skews towards puzzlers by way of it selecting the more enthusiastic players that feel like posting. I don't quite see the complete reasons for this. I have vague ideas about dopamine rushes around the lynchpins, but... Yeah.

If you are creating levels, you might also find your tactical levels are more enjoyable for self-play. In puzzle levels you know the solution. In tactical levels, you've still got a chance to create a challenge for yourself in your own creation. (I took note that you were replaying your own tactical levels lots and enjoying them.)

For that reason, I was surprised when people didn't enjoy the horde rooms in KDD as much as I did. The long serpent rooms where you walk through the coils were my favorites. But... not so much with everyone else.

Mixing tactics and hard puzzles in a single room seems generally to be a mistake. Adding a smaller challenge after the hard challenge in a room, also seems a bad choice, as you say. There is a kind of "puzzle story" that should have a climax without lesser or unrelated challenges tacked on. I say that, but I know I've broken this rule about 20 times in the last 3 months of creating Godkiller levels.

The question from your post about determining the difference between good tactical rooms and bad ones is very interesting to me right now. I think it's much easier for me to predict when I've nade a good puzzle room. I say this after watching about 40 hours of playtester videos over the last few months.

-Erik

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01-24-2021 at 06:41 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
Having played every published hold, the big shift from "tactics focused" to "puzzle focused" happened after TCB, though TCB itself is more of "tactics focused with some puzzle elements". I feel like part of the story here is just that TCB has a lot of elements that are very good for puzzles - pressure plates are the big one, but hot tiles opened up a huge design space too, and those are far from the only examples in that game. This only expanded after TSS, which had even more elements that were good for puzzles. Plus TSS was overall a puzzle-focused game, so it provided plenty of examples for people to think about.

This is not to say that there wasn't design space for puzzles in the AE and JtRH era. But there were more limitations. If you wanted to open a yellow door, the options in AE were either "you hit the orb" or "a mimic hits the orb". If you wanted to kill a monster that wasn't a serpent, the options were you or a mimic. Cut tar? Needs to be you or a mimic.

This was less true after JtRH, but it was still tricky to make a room where you needed to, say, keep a roach alive. You had to put a fair amount of thought into your enforcement widget on top of thinking about what kind of obstacles you needed. And you had few options for hazards to the roach other than your own sword. Now? You just need a pressure plate that nothing else in the room can reach, and you can complicate things with hot tiles, briar, puffs, or stalwarts.

What this amounted to was that before TCB, there was something of a skill barrier on making puzzles. It took more thought to figure out how to set things up. There were still good puzzles made in those days, but for various reasons, it was easier to make a horde room than a puzzle room.

I think that's changed - maybe the simplest of horde rooms are still easier to make, but consider one where you throw in a widget of some kind, like in Xindaris' examples above. I think the gap between making something like that and making a puzzle room has shrunk significantly over the years.
01-24-2021 at 07:11 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
I think tactics vs. Puzzle is only part of the story here. One thing I think Xindaris is getting at is that a lot of modern holds tend towards more of a minimalist design. This applies to both horde rooms and linchpin rooms. I feel like modern holds often tend towards having just one main idea in the room and tend not to include a bunch of unnecessary stuff.

So if it's a horde room for example it'll use just enough monsters and obstacles for the player to have fun and use whatever interesting tactics or strategy. But it won't be full to the gills with extra busy work. Modern puzzle rooms also tend to feel like they each focus on one main idea instead of cramming 5 or 6 disjoint ideas into the same room.

I also think that somewhere along the line architects got a lot better about not actively trying to annoy the player. I suspect the whole beta testing and HA process had something to do with that. But I do feel like a lot of older holds include things like that little wraithwing "gocha!" at the end. I feel like modern architects would probably get more feedback about how that kind of little surprise at the end of a room may make the architect feel clever, but it's generally just a nuisance for players.

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[Last edited by Insoluble at 01-24-2021 07:48 PM]
01-24-2021 at 07:38 PM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
I think Insoluble has a really good point. Thinking back on how my personal criteria for how I decide whether I've built a good room or not has changed, one thing in particular I know is that I try to keep the turn count--not for an optimized solve, but for just playing the room what I consider "normally"--reasonably low. My threshold for "not too long" is generally to keep even horde rooms under 1000 or so turns.

This came initially (I think) from people leaving feedback on my earlier work that it was tedious or taking too long, and it seemed like keeping the turn count "low" was a good way to prevent that sort of design. But I think now I also kind of agree with those critics; that is, I think the majority of good puzzle or horde room ideas can probably fit within 1000 turns of decent play (by which I mean, in the final demo the player is making "progress" most of the time and not burning lots of turns doing "nothing"). It means that even if the player needs to undo a fair bit or start all over, there should never be that much to undo. There are some exceptions I think, like moving platforms around to achieve a certain shape or effect, but it seems like a good way to keep a room from becoming too much of a pain. This is again a matter of "focus" and not "cramming two rooms into one for no good reason", as I would probably be inclined to put it.

Although, when I talk about putting two different room ideas into one, I'm not talking about things like where you have multiple separate-looking parts that appear either simple but complicate each other, or impossible but provide each others' solutions. I would consider that kind of thing to still be a single "idea" overall that governs the room.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 01-24-2021 07:55 PM]
01-24-2021 at 07:49 PM
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mauvebutterfly
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
I recently did an LP of The Unfortunate Architect, and the rooms that you mentioned here weren't that bad compared to some of the other ones. There were several rooms that took me 40 minutes to an hour, and there was one room that took me 3 hours iirc.

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While I'd agree that a lot of rooms had a lot of stuff going on and could have been split up into multiple rooms, I think it was the timers that I particularly disliked. There were a number of rooms that forced a high degree of optimisation on the player, and those tended to be the ones that I had the worst time with.

For example, this room has a tar widget that forces you to complete various tasks and then hit an orb within a multiple of 30 turns. Hitting the orb locks you out of that part of the room, so you have to finish everything as you go. Not only that, but while killing all the monsters, you also have to be bringing a wraithwing from the first area to the final area since there's a "gotcha" at the end that isn't possible without the wraithwing acting as a blocker.

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Then there was this room, which is actually impossible. Oh wait, there's a mimic potion underneath one of the monsters that can't move. So clever.

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The second of these three rooms was actually a pretty cool concept, but overall the execution wasn't that fun. I'm glad that rooms like these three aren't that popular with architects any more.

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01-24-2021 at 11:52 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
Unfortunate Architect Compilation is an interesting example to use, because the gimmick there was having specific numbers of monsters and having to fit them in.

And here's that list:

-25 Roach Queens (And with them, unlimited roaches)
-16 Wraithwings
-110 Evil Eyes
-5 Tar Mothers (And with it, unlimited tar and tar babies)
-10 Snakes (Any length...you have a lot of snake food to spare)
-11 Goblins
-3 Brains
-3 Mimic Potions
-1 Invisibility Potion

Compare to the similarly themed Twelve Days of Christmas, from 2016:

"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve roaches running,
Eleven goblins biting,
Ten guards a-leaping,
Nine aumtlich dancing,
Eight eyes a-watching,
Seven skippers swimming,
Six queens a-laying,
Five goooooooooooolems,
Four constructs,
Three wraithwings,
Two purple Slayers,
And a tar mother in a tar blob."

I think the difference in those lists suggests a lot about how things have changed over the years.
01-25-2021 at 12:20 AM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
It's not that I intentionally picked out this compilation, but happened upon it because the alphabet stream reached the letter U, and then I wound up feeling stuck with it for a while because I wanted to give each entry the same "give it a try" treatment I normally would an entire hold. Then I was dissatisfied with my semi-incoherent, in-the-moment complaints, especially since it was clear that I was being kind of misunderstood--sparking that whole rant in the OP.

I'm pretty sure I noped out of some of the actual worst rooms like mauve pointed out (that third one I definitely attempted but didn't notice the hidden potion), but the fact that I found some that were "not the worst of the compilation" to still be irritating seems like a bad sign, too.

It was suggested that the reason for that wraithwing in the eyeballs-goblin room I pointed out was "well, the architect needs to use a wraithwing somewhere" (I'm very much paraphrasing here). But, as far as I know, there was no limitation on the number of rooms for that competition, so putting that limited-space wraithwing manipulation into its own room would've served a similar purpose without feeling quite so player-hostile, in my opinion. I think, even if I were given the list of elements for this older competition, I wouldn't use them in the same way at all--probably split them into more rooms, or trivialize the "use" of some of that abundance of eyes to be things like the target of a cluster of bombs that explode when you do the room's real puzzle or something. But, of course, I guess I wouldn't have that option were I an architect back then--which loops back to the "available elements at the time" issue. It'd be "force the player to hack through those eyes one way or another" for me, then.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 01-25-2021 01:34 AM]
01-25-2021 at 01:32 AM
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mauvebutterfly
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (0)  
I'm pretty sure that every entry ended up with the same number of rooms (plus or minus a puzzleless entrance room) so I assumed that 9 rooms was listed somewhere. Or maybe it just turned out that way. Or my memory is bad.

The fact that you had a bad time with some of the less bad rooms is not unexpected. The compilation as a whole felt like a lot of work to get through.

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01-25-2021 at 03:11 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
Just checked, it specifies nine rooms.

This whole conversation has given me a silly contest idea, though. Make a level with exactly 110 Evil Eyes in it.

All other elements are allowed, but judging is to be based on how well the eyes are used. So if you put a rock giant in the room, you should be thinking about how you can use that giant in conjunction with the eyes.
01-25-2021 at 05:05 AM
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Dischorran
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
Dragon Fogel wrote:
Just checked, it specifies nine rooms.

This whole conversation has given me a silly contest idea, though. Make a level with exactly 110 Evil Eyes in it.

All other elements are allowed, but judging is to be based on how well the eyes are used. So if you put a rock giant in the room, you should be thinking about how you can use that giant in conjunction with the eyes.
This, but spiders.

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01-25-2021 at 06:18 AM
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mxvladi
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
I guess I should throw in my opinion about long messy horde rooms since my twitch chat rambling apparently caused this thread to happen.

In general - Xindaris happens to dislike certain types of rooms that I enjoy. Nothing wrong with that really.

I think it's perfectly fine for a room to be 1k+ moves long (some of rooms which are in top 20 longest or close to it are my favorites), at least for a good reason, or to have some extra execution difficulty thrown on top of initial trick, and just to force you to to smite a lot of monsters, as long as it's interesting and challenges you in some way about it.

If its just a boring slashfest which you solve on autopilot without putting any thought into it - meh, I can agree such room would be boring.

Also since I generally optimize rooms I play, I also partly judge them based on how interesting/fun they are to optimize. If someone's not into that I imagine some of horde rooms might not be as fun.

Re: that room in UAC (Restricted Resources 1S 1W) -
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I can agree that extra wwing in 1N is pretty silly though.
01-25-2021 at 07:24 AM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
Dragon Fogel wrote:

This whole conversation has given me a silly contest idea, though. Make a level with exactly 110 Evil Eyes in it.



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01-25-2021 at 06:14 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
I agree that JtRH featured rooms that had too much stuff thrown in. Many of the ones I'm thinking of featured some tactics, but then the architect felt they had to fill up the whole room with that tactic, simply because the space was there, instead of carving out a targeted place to practice or apply the tactic in a puzzley way. TCB had a fair amount of that too.

At the time, I left these rooms as-is, without comment, as a way to respect the author's creation. Looking back, a little editing would have gone a long way toward tightening up the quality of these rooms and holds.

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[Last edited by mrimer at 01-29-2021 08:03 PM]
01-29-2021 at 08:01 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
Personally, I am a brute. I like puzzles, but I don't mind a horde room. Smiting cockroaches is very relaxing. But then again, I agree that some horde levels are ridiculous (looking at you war series). Horde levels in general are not bad, but shouldn't be the point of the hold, or be overused. There isn't much left to be said, because let's face it, a level that has imaginative puzzles will be more praised than a level where you just have to kill your way to win. I think that you guys just got more sophisticated. It happens. But I do think that without the horde levels, you wouldn't be hooked to DROD. At least I wouldn't be

The screenshots that you post make me want to play this hold :pepsi
(I added that face because he licks the lips which is what I aimed for and I couldn't find similar smiley)

Oh, and the only thing I hated in the original DROD was the labyrinth level. I certainly liked the level 23 (AFAIR, maybe it was level 22), which had horde rooms. It was brutal, but it was great.

Oh, and I love you mxvladi and Xindaris (I wish there was a heart emoticon). I dare to say that vladi is the king of DROD, both with his scores, as well as his holds.

EDIT: And now I just realized that horde rooms are good for teaching efficiency and tactics. They certainly improve the skills of the player, if used right.


[Last edited by Illusionist at 01-30-2021 06:13 PM]
01-30-2021 at 05:22 PM
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Illusionist
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+3)  
mrimer wrote:
I agree that JtRH featured rooms that had too much stuff thrown in. Many of the ones I'm thinking of featured some tactics, but then the architect felt they had to fill up the whole room with that tactic, simply because the space was there, instead of carving out a targeted place to practice or apply the tactic in a puzzley way. TCB had a fair amount of that too.

At the time, I left these rooms as-is, without comment, as a way to respect the author's creation. Looking back, a little editing would have gone a long way toward tightening up the quality of these rooms and holds.

I have to gracefully disagree. There was only one room that made me cry (level 22? I mean the one that has both blue and red tar that you need to go from one end to another), but otherwise it made the game feel like an ADVENTURE. TCB was much harsher (and brilliant) and TSS blew my mind. But even if JtRH is the third drod game I've tried (KDD was first, and Gunthro was my second), it felt the most complete, albeit it's probably because of the slayer (my favorite DROD character). Sometimes, slaying the roaches adds to the feel. Because when you finish the game you go like "whew, I slayed over 1000 roaches, what a ride".

If we want to go philosophical, we can say that the work of art is never finished, it's just abandoned, because at some point we decide to stop improving it. I don't believe in what ifs and coulda shoulda woulda. Believe me when I say that the game is perfect as it is, and that comes from a person, who neglected drod for 20 years and fell in love because of JtRH. That means that no matter what, the game was done right, because it turned me into a true believer and that was basically a 180 turn. And there is a reason that despite the "flaws" (didn't see any) it's the most celebrated/recommended game on the internet (even if TSS is objectively the best one, but that's the thing, you have to play JtRH first, before you try TSS).

And I could even argue, that it's not necessarily that you feel that the game should be edited differently, it's that you yourself changed as a person in regards to the taste in puzzles. But consider the following: if the person who wasn't there during the original launch, but instead discovers this game in 2020, praises it - isn't it the testament to the game?

tl;dr what I'm trying to say, what you might think should had been edited might be actually what makes this game great

tl:dr tl:dr I don't think it could be done better (it's purrfect)

[Last edited by Illusionist at 01-30-2021 06:11 PM]
01-30-2021 at 05:48 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
I'm going to agree with Illusionist here. With regards to the horde rooms in DROD some of the custom levels might seem like a bit much sometimes, but nothing in the official holds seemed too excessive to me. I also really enjoyed JtRH and found the horde rooms there to all be really satisfying to complete, at least before the 5.0 challenges were added.

Also going to agree with mxvladi regarding the first room that Xindaris posted in the original post. That's a fun horde room that requires interesting tactics.

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01-31-2021 at 04:23 AM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
Well, you can choose to judge a book by its cover, but you can't always expect it to be accurate. Since I refused to try that room, I can't say for sure whether it really is fun or not. But I can't think of too many official-hold rooms that made me feel quite the way I did (in a negative sense) while playing some of this contest's entries, and I don't think I've said anything in this thread specifically against KDD or JtRH? There were certainly a few rooms I didn't enjoy, but that's also true of TSS for entirely different reasons.

Looking back on this, I don't necessarily disagree with myself, but I do think part of what made/makes me feel the way I did when I wrote that first post is the fact that I go into each Alphabet Stream with a time budget of 2-3 hours and a goal of "getting a taste of a few holds". That's just a product of the fact that I have a lot to do in the real world and very limited time to commit to streaming. Pounding my face into a long horde room for an entire hour just doesn't feel like a good or enjoyable way to achieve that goal, so I'm going to naturally dip out if something looks like it's going to be a pain in that particular way. I often do the same thing if a puzzle makes me feel like I won't solve it without a demo, too, so it's not really an exclusive thing. If I were playing these holds alone, with no stream, and I didn't enjoy the rooms in general--I'd quit and move to another hold. But if I liked some rooms, or felt I wasn't far enough to be sure whether I wanted to continue or not, I'd almost certainly look up hints and solutions in the relevant board. That's largely what I did with TSS's endgame construct and roach queen levels. I mostly just don't want to do that on stream, in front of people, because it just feels like a really lame thing to do. If I were watching someone let's play a puzzle game and they paused to look up the solution, well..it's hard not to think less of someone for that.

But anyway, my point is that probably this context that I run upon such rooms colors my perception of them a bit. I still don't think I'd like several of these decisions I've pointed out, but if I didn't have a relatively short clock in my face and a mic in front of me to gripe into I probably wouldn't seem quite so negative about them, I dunno. A part of what happens when I play any game, full stop, is that when I'm being challenged I will sometimes growl and grunt, even if I really am having a good time, and feeling like I need to say words because there's a microphone can sometimes make me feel compelled to come up with a coherent complaint, and...yeah. I'd like to think that I audibly "complain and solve" more often than I "complain and give up", unless rooms are just really hard, but it's not something I feel like I have complete control over, either.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 01-31-2021 06:03 AM]
01-31-2021 at 06:01 AM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
Don't worry too much, you're a hero Xindaris, because I don't stream at all (no youtube account and don't wanna have one). Notice that nobody disagrees with you, it's just that we explain why we don't mind horde rooms. Especially that you make valid points that would be difficult to refute, because I feel similarly.

Hordes certainly fall somewhere in the guilty pleasure thing. I know it's a little lowbrow entertainment and can be tedious, especially where architects try to make a point, but at the same time it feels good to me.

But if you ask me what I like the most, it's where the story leads the rooms, like that hold - Goblin and Me (or sth like that), where you have a goblin following the player, whom you can't kill (albeit I wouldn't be surprised if vladi found a way), but you also need to solve puzzles.

And anyway, you yourself created a magnificent hold TREFOIL (I had to check the name, memory issues), so in many ways that hold is a good example of DROD being used creatively.

[Last edited by Illusionist at 01-31-2021 09:38 AM]
01-31-2021 at 09:35 AM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (0)  
Illusionist and mauvebutterfly, I appreciate the kind words of praise for JtRH and TCB!

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[Last edited by mrimer at 01-31-2021 05:42 PM]
01-31-2021 at 05:42 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
mrimer wrote:
Illusionist and mauvebutterfly, I appreciate the kind words of praise for JtRH and TCB!


These are the words of truth. You cannot argue with that. Everything can be different if you want it to be. But if a random guy likes what you did back in 2006 (I am aware it was 2005, but I'm trying to make a point), then maybe it was done properly. With that said, it could be fun to see what people would like to see changed in JtRH, I would probably have a good laugh for sure, because let me remind you, I am new, I wasn't there, I hated the game, I hated it real good, and then I stopped hating it, and started loving it. It's all right.

In regard to horde rooms. Ah, there's not much to be said, make a good hold, and please care about the story, because this is what I care about the most. For me, that's the issue, not many people care about making the hold being a worthwhile story.

[Last edited by Illusionist at 02-01-2021 06:29 AM]
01-31-2021 at 09:49 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
While I agree that horde rooms can be far too tedious, they have a special place in my heart. Maybe I'll build a hold centered around them...

I think the big problem with them is that there tends to be a goal (queen, for instance) that's challenging, and then a second goal slightly less challenging, and then it gets easier from there. But the hardest part of the room (and arguably the most fun) tends to be no more than 20% of the move count.

If, instead, after that first 20% of the room, there was something that allowed the rest to pass by quickly (an orb that kills all the remaining queens, maybe), horde rooms might be much less frustrating. But an example:

Click here to view the secret text


This room (which was designed to be horrible) turned out to actually be rather fun! It did take many hours to beat, and if I actually wanted to publish it I'd want to streamline it somewhat. But it was challenging figuring out where I could actually make progress and how to hold the tar back with babies in ways that weren't done in published holds.
02-04-2021 at 08:48 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (0)  
Someone Else wrote:
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MADRE DE DIOS. MEU OLHOS

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[Last edited by Illusionist at 02-06-2021 05:52 PM]
02-06-2021 at 05:51 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+2)  
You don't. You really don't. But it's here.
02-06-2021 at 07:49 PM
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nand
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
Xindaris wrote:
I'm sure that thinking like this is part of the push for "clean" rooms. But I don't think that "cleanness" is even what I, personally, want in every single room. I just want a limit on how much I'm going to have to redo if I screw something up early on, because I know that I will.

I think this is a good summary of my feelings on the subject. I enjoy rooms that keep me moving forwards. In a good puzzle room, pressing the 'R' key does not lose me any progress. The progress lies in understanding - I should be able to trivially recreate the exact state I'm in.

In a tactics room, conversely, I expect myself, with good play, to never need to press the 'R' key. At most, undoing a couple of moves if I end up being backed into a corner. But apart from that, I should be able to take any game state that has me in relative safety and solve the room from there.

A surefire way to ruin my day is to emerge victorious from a gigantic slog of a battle only to find out that I had overlooked getting some roach stuck behind a force arrow 30 moves in and now need to redo the whole thing. There was a particularly egregious example of this somewhere in the game I'm replaying (TSS), I forgot where. I think a good way around this frustration is by making such mechanical failures obvious when they happen: e.g. some pressure plate gets triggered, bombs explode, that sort of thing.

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[Last edited by nand at 02-19-2021 12:17 PM]
02-19-2021 at 11:01 AM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
I don't think people inherently dislike horde rooms, it's just that the standards for a horde room have gone up. A good horde room requires the player to make interesting strategy decisions, from positioning to placement of mimics/decoys, when to set off bombs or make use of other limited resources, where to kill golems or constructs to create chokepoints, and so on. There's plenty of room for varied and interesting horde rooms, but they need to actually explore that space.

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02-19-2021 at 04:56 PM
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icon Re: The Unfortunate Player, or "Do we hate hordes now?" (+1)  
As someone who creates architecture of that particular style, I definitely agree that horde rooms require tactical and strategic thinking to be engaging, and can't just be mindless hack and slash the way it was in the earlier eras.

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02-19-2021 at 05:52 PM
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