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Xindaris
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icon Reverse DROD (+2)  
So last night, I was having a lot of difficulty sleeping, when a completely insane idea for a kind of custom/scripted puzzle came to me.

To begin to explain, I want to refer you to The Mushroom Engine. It's basically like playing Mario, but reversed in time, so you start out after beating bowser and need to regress time backwards screen by screen, un-killing every enemy and un-collecting every coin.

So, yes, the idea I had was basically to replicate that concept in DROD. I think we could call it "Death Of Rooms Deadly", or DORD for short. In DORD, Beethro begins at the top of the exit stairs of the level, and in each room he must un-kill all of the monsters to un-open all of the green and blue doors (and un-close the ones that started open), and eventually make his way backwards to the level entrance tile. The threat clock goes backwards, and everything walks backwards because it's un-walking. And if at any point something un-happens that isn't valid, such as a roach having nowhere to "go backwards" to and nothing blocking it from moving forward, Beethro has failed and must re-un-do things from the next turn backwards again. I'm thinking you could indicate where each monster needs to be un-killed by putting a "ghost" of the monster there, which revives when Beethro's sword is on it and starts un-moving like its respective monster. Maybe the premise is that Beethro is mentally retracing his steps because he dropped his wallet in that last dungeon somewhere.

Of course, the reason I'm writing a thread about this instead of trying to actually script it is because it's probably a monumentally hard task. One of the main issues is ambiguity: For example, if a roach is sliding against a wall this turn, did it move diagonally next to the wall on the previous turn or was it also sliding on the wall that turn? Or, if Beethro un-presses an orb that's supposed to open a door, was that door closed before or already open. My inclination to handle this problem is to assume that Beethro did everything "efficiently". So: He wouldn't have pressed that orb unless the door was still shut; the roach is always sliding along the wall unless it's perpendicular to Beethro or has nowhere to have come from to keep sliding.

Let's just have a think about how possible a few things are for this concept:

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So...Overall, I think the idea could work with some very clever scripting and a fairly limited toolset. But I don't feel like trying to make it work myself, because there's definitely some madness incumbent in trying to script it.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 04-10-2021 05:13 PM]
04-10-2021 at 04:51 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (+1)  
This feels so complex that it would be easier to implement as its own game, honestly.

One of the most basic questions is how does the turn timer work. Does it start at zero, or is every room timed and you have to exit it with all monsters alive exactly as the count hits zero? The latter would probably be really frustrating.

And now I'm just imagining taking this in a really freeform way where you can step on any pit or water tile and a trapdoor pops up on it. I guess you could alternatively put down build markers in places that had trapdoors, which would allow for raising bridges or having ice instead, but the idea that the game just assumes the move you "reversed" was valid amuses me a lot.
04-10-2021 at 05:56 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (+4)  
Being practical, which is sometimes a terrible thing to be...

It seems like a legitimately enjoyable game if you can simply get free of making it match exactly to existing game elements. Just make a new game with a reverse swordsman unkilling things, and design it fresh from there.

-Erik

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[Last edited by ErikH2000 at 04-10-2021 05:56 PM]
04-10-2021 at 05:56 PM
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Kalin
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (0)  
What about horde rooms where you sometimes have literally hundreds of roaches who all died on the same tile? Just placing the ghosts will be a nightmare.

Actually, it would probably be easiest to just make rooms in DROD, record a demo, and convert the demo into the DORD room.
04-10-2021 at 06:00 PM
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Xindaris
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Dragon Fogel: I hadn't considered forcing the threat clock to "start" at 0 when the player tries to un-enter the room. I think that'd be more complicated than would be worth it, and that issue could maybe just be sort of ignored. I'm not imagining this with a limited turn-counter or anything, though. The main idea is that the puzzle lies in making sure that your every un-move is actually valid; I hadn't thought about trapdoors but I guess "ghostly"/"build marker" trapdoors would make the most sense. Not exactly sure how to make it so the player can "un-step" onto them though.

Erik: I've never actually tried to make a game from scratch before (or more accurately, never gotten farther than a miniscule step into that) and don't have time to try right now. I guess I could throw this in the pile of other ideas I have for actual, full-fledged games that all probably won't be realized :look. I'm good at using existing engines and building tools and mechanics to make interesting things out of (I like to think), but have never made those "base things" successfully.

Kalin: This is another part of the "fairly limited toolset", I'd say. You want to design a DORD room very carefully, so that it's actually possible to work out what happened in reverse. Actual horde rooms are probably right out.

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[Last edited by Xindaris at 04-10-2021 06:11 PM]
04-10-2021 at 06:09 PM
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Kalin
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (+2)  
Thinking some more about this, the main problem is that DROD is only deterministic in one direction; there are multiple ways the player (or monster) can end up a tile facing a certain direction.

Even if you try to make it easier by giving the player a dagger instead of sword, you have a problem when the solution involves bumping a wall to change facing. How does the game tell if the move you're un-doing was successful or not?
04-10-2021 at 06:46 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (0)  
I'm having trouble seeing how it's a problem on the player side, since the player is selecting a move. The fact that there are multiple ways the player could have reached the current position is largely the point - a major part of the puzzle is picking the correct option out of those ways. You just have the player make a move, and (theoretically, at least) the game figures out what would happen if the inverse of it had been the last move.

Bumping a wall in reverse with a dagger is actually fairly easy to deal with conceptually - you could have been facing any direction, but which direction you were facing only matters on the action before that, which you'll decide next. I guess there's a question of how to portray that graphically, though.

But trying to make these rules work in DROD carries a lot of complications, because you have to deal with where the player can move (how do you implement the reverse of crossing a force arrow?) and you have to make rules for how the monsters reverse so that you can have it be deterministic.

Even with a limited ruleset it quickly gets complicated. I feel like the best options are to either make a new game, or if you really want to do it in DROD, do something like DROD Touch that completely reinvents the rules anyways.
04-10-2021 at 07:47 PM
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averagemoe
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (0)  
Uhh... yeah, Beethro would need to find his lost wallet before remembering anything other than stationary obstacles.

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04-10-2021 at 08:41 PM
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Lucky Luc
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icon Re: Reverse DROD (+1)  
Kalin wrote:
Thinking some more about this, the main problem is that DROD is only deterministic in one direction; there are multiple ways the player (or monster) can end up a tile facing a certain direction.

Even if you try to make it easier by giving the player a dagger instead of sword, you have a problem when the solution involves bumping a wall to change facing. How does the game tell if the move you're un-doing was successful or not?

While I think Xindaris already adressed that in his original post, I kind of like the idea of quantum superpositions whenever something non-deterministic happens. I'm not sure how wave function collapsing would work and obviously absolutely completely undoubtedly unscriptable, but hey, quantum!
04-11-2021 at 11:21 AM
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rowrow
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This is basically the idea of Spoiler Alert, just with DROD instead of a platformer.

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04-29-2021 at 03:31 PM
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