View Full Version : Tiles?

07-10-2011, 01:32 AM
Is Thomas Biskup still 100% against tiles?

Really wanted to remake ADoM entirely with 100% accuracy, just to add tile support... But I doubt I'd be able to do it justice due to lack of ability to get to the late game and whatnot :D

I can understand playing with ASCII symbols being preferred by some people... but I also know that a lot of people straight up prefer tiles. It's easier to instantly identify monsters/items/etc faster, and don't really take away from the ability to imagine the world in your head. Whatever the case, I'm sure if support was added in JADE for tiles, even with no tiles, fans would make pretty tilesets fast enough.

07-11-2011, 12:05 AM
>It's easier to instantly identify monsters/items/etc faster

Tiles are garbage.

07-11-2011, 05:35 AM
The conventional wizdom is that bad tiles are worse than no tiles,
and good ones are difficult to make and incorperate. They must be
of at least a certain size to be useful. Adom (and I think jade)
displays 80x25 tiles on screen at all times. The tiles would just be
too small.

I once thought of producing images that could be pulled up along
with monster memory command along with monster info, but
ultimately gave up on that idea. In order to include hundreds of
images large enough to be interesting (maybe 400 x 300), the
image package would be so large I doubt anyone would bother.
Besides, display them via terminal would probably be a pain, if
not theme breaking for the game.

If one wants images in jade or adom, just start a fan art project
and look at them on your local PC.

07-11-2011, 07:35 AM
I personally prefer ASCII to tiles, as it is always much clearer. But it's undeniable that tiles are a good means to hook non-geek people into the game. Games like DCSS have both options, I always play them in ASCII but some people use tiles, no one loses anything. So I am all for at least the option for people to load tilesets into JADE (even if a default tileset is not included).

By the way, JADE has a zoom function, it can present characters in various sizes.

07-11-2011, 10:12 AM
Just a thought, but what if Jade provided the ability to put the mouse cursor over any particular character, and see what it is - kind of like the "Look" command, but more visual?

Then, the community could work on creating/finding suitable pictures for each type of being. It would be the best of both worlds - still the relatively easy to use ascii visuals, but will the ability for users to obtain visual help in understanding what they're looking at.

Actually, perhaps the Look command could be replaced by this mouse-based system, anyway. It would be quicker, and could display more information than would be visible in the message bar.

07-11-2011, 10:24 AM
Mouse-based look seems nice but a whole replace? No way, I want to hold my hands on the keyboard while playing text games.

07-11-2011, 10:30 AM
TB has said in the past that any kind of interface is possible; the ASCII one is just the default coded by Biskup himself. So user-made UIs with tiles are perfectly possible.

See http://www.adom.de/jade/javadoc-jade-007/de/adom/jade/ui/UserInterface.html and http://www.adom.de/jade/javadoc-jade-007/de/adom/jade/ui/UserInterfaceFactory.html

07-11-2011, 10:34 AM
nathrakh is definitely correct; the default control scheme doesn't do anything with the mouse at all. I'm pretty sure I'd be way faster with the good old "l"ook command than with the mouse.

07-11-2011, 01:09 PM
Mouse-based look seems nice but a whole replace? No way, I want to hold my hands on the keyboard while playing text games.

Sorry, I should have emphasised that I meant it as a replacement option, not as just replacing it entirely. I was talking about a GUI option where you could choose which one you prefer, and one would replace the other depending on your choice.

I did refer to the "hover" information idea - perhaps the text-based Look command could optionally also produce a hover, rather than using the message bar. It would just hover elsewhere, rather than where the mouse is.

07-12-2011, 06:29 AM
Huh that "look" idea sounds really sweet. In fact, if/when I make a roguelike I'm going to put that in. Was always a fan of getting extra tidbits about monsters and stuff. I like the little quotes in NetHack which you can see.

Sweet. Guess I'll do that when JADE's further along, if it's not already done by then.

Your signature is quite unsightly. Anyhow, I'd gladly sacrifice viewing area (even if the game was designed for larger) to get some tiles. I've played a lot of Nethack in ASCII (and even ascended once) and I never really got used to it. Might just be a difference in how our brains work.

07-13-2011, 06:35 AM
Indeed it would be possible (probably with some more work but the basic infrastructure is already there) to add a tiles based map mode to the game. If you look into your home directory, you will find a file called ".jade/cfg/ascii-representations.dat". There all tile mappings (JADE even uses that term internally) are defined (and you could change them for your local game - at least up to the next release).

If you have graphical representations for all those things (and probably monster tiles with transparency mappings) you are on the right way. The more tricky part is that for a nice looking wilderness you probably can't live with but one tile as e.g. coastal lines would look pretty stupid.

As I have no idea how other games handle that there comes the part where JADE definitely would need to be expanded. And one would have to write a new UserInterface implementation, probably derived from an existing one... there would be some work to be done to create a better inheritance structure to e.g. be able to just replace the MapDisplay with another implementation without having to change everything. And a new MapDisplay is needed - the current one does the ASCII stuff.

So some work but not impossible. If someone would like to try his luck at that I'll be happy to streamline the UI infrastructure a little bit for one of the 0.1.x versions. Just e-mail me at creator(at)ancientdomainsofmystery.com with a short description of your programming skills and a sketch about how you'd implement the map logic to prove that you know what you are talking about - then I'll invest some effort into that over the weeks to come.

It's just that I personally have no interest in tiles since they just steal time I prefer to invest in the game ;-)

07-13-2011, 09:05 AM
It's just that I personally have no interest in tiles since they just steal time I prefer to invest in the game ;-)
100% agree, we need you to implement the game! I'm sure other people will be willing to work in the tiles, either now or at some point in the future (not me: although I program in Java, I'm abysmal at anything having to do with drawing/graphics/graphic design).

11-26-2011, 10:54 PM
@gut - Conventional wisdom huh? Only in RL circles... in 2011 and with Java the game should default to graphical, with an ASCII option for that clique.

If the project had someone responsible for marketing, even non-commercially, they would insist that the game be made more accessible to the masses.

Before you choke on your Star Wars dolls ;P - this would actually help you too. You could have all the "geeky" inaccessible features you know (that everyone else just looks at and says "no way" I'm learning all these keys and these symbols and they look dumb and nerdy) but with a much bigger fanbase (yes it is large but could get much bigger) - with its inevitable benefits (like maybe not having to wait 10 years for JADE to come out and TB generates much more income and donations etc).

Finally, you'll argue it is no longer a RL if you change too much of this stuff, to which I say: we absolutely don't want to lose what makes RLs, and in particular ADoM, so magical we are talking about cosmetic and interface changes/default-options to make the game more accessible to first-timers. As an old magazine used to rate, the hookability of the game is 1/10 and the lastability is 10/10 at present, and it is really the time to address this imbalance when writing in Java in 2011.

The simple test - put the game in front of someone who has not played a RL before. Are 50 percent of them still playing after an hour, a day?

Leaving the tiles to user generated packs is not a solution either because the masses won't get that far. It needs to start graphical if you want to grab them. Or maybe that is the answer and TB just incorporates the best tiles into the game and makes it the default - RL geeks will be able to get far enough to change the default to ASCII! I agree some thought into improving (or taking a different approach to) the deficiencies of tile-sets etc could help too - but here we are talking about good vs bad execution, there is nothing inherently flawed about graphics (ASCII is an arbitrary "graphical" tileset in the sense it is a group of symbols on a computer screen).

Just my opinion/observation from a marketing perspective, not a complaint, loved the games for years, thx TB etc etc do what you like etc etc keep going etc etc.


PS I'd mention it should default to having sound effects too but I think I'm already pushing my luck ;)

11-27-2011, 07:43 AM
>>> Really wanted to remake ADoM entirely with 100% accuracy, just to add tile support

>> The conventional wizdom is that bad tiles are worse than no tiles,

> @gut - Conventional wisdom huh? Only in RL circles...

I am no game graphics wiz (else this would have all been done by now), but
this is the way I have it figured. Adom has 80 * 25 tiles = 2000 on
screen at all times, and a standard laptop res is 1366 * 768 = 1,049,088.
That yields ~524 pixels per tile, which would work out to ~ 18 * 30 pixels
per tile, and that is if you use every pixel on the screen (which yields a
distorted/elongated picture, but I am using best case scenario here).

Perhaps others have more talent than I when it comes to pixel art, but in my
opinion, that still just doesn't give enough pixels to do anything that I
could even comprehend as being acceptable. I know the old snes games used to
be 16 * 16, and some of those were quite lovely, but one has to remember,
each of those tiles were displayed on screen as nearly an inch square.

Here is an example of 2 images I have created, both are 18 * 30, so if you
are viewing them on a 1366 * 768 laptop resolution, you are seeing them as
exactly the same size they would appear on screen durring an ADOM/JADE
game. Granted, I did this in about 30 seconds, but it is still adequate to show
what I mean.

http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/4735/asciivsgraphix.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/802/asciivsgraphix.png/)

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/1254/graphixvsascii.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/856/graphixvsascii.png/)

> Before you choke on your Star Wars dolls

I hate star wars, and have never been able to sit through more
than 5 minutes of any episode I tried. I think a good fiction
story happens in a land, long, long ago, not far, far from now.

11-27-2011, 07:59 PM
haha good answer. Yeah those tiles look pretty crappy. So I think both your concerns and my concerns are all valid, but how to solve them is the key, as always, and as you allude to.

11-28-2011, 05:36 PM
adom winbeta has tiles, actually, or at least the capability for them anyway.
Someone (I'm pretty sure it was soirana) once posted me a link to the hack,
and I'm pretty certain I still have it somewhere on one of my hard drives (if
anyone wants it). The original hacker (sorry, I forgot the name) even drew
out a few tiles, like trees and such, leaving the 'artwork' to be finished by
the artistically inclined. The problem is that the hack is for winbeta, which
doesn't even let you play fullscreen, so you don't even have 18 * 30 pixels
to work with, maybe not even half that, so nothing ever came of it.

JADE is a different beast though. It uses a very nice system of map scrolling,
which would allow for the player to zoom in and display tiles as nearly an inch
square, while still allowing enough viewable tiles to keep the game playable...
maybe. It would need testing.

11-29-2011, 07:48 AM
In games like Dwarf Fortress, using tiles unavoidably gives you a smaller viewing area in the game (due to the reasons you mention) and noobs who use tiles just don't care. They prefer to use tiles and not see, rather than to use ASCII and see. Therefore, I think having tiles is good to attract more players to the game, even if it's not the optimal way to play (the ASCII option must, of course, always be there!)

01-13-2012, 08:17 PM
I've been playing ADOM for about 10 years now and it's the greatest game I've ever played. I've tried to introduce it to people but the ASCII just doesn't interest them. I don't mind it that much but it would be nice to have at least popup tiles for the (l)ook key to see who and what going on in front of me. I think it would be a totally awesome game if it had some graphics but I'd rather TB spent the time creating the game rather than trying to integrate graphics into the game. But I will say this, I wouldn't hesitate paying $50 for a graphical version of ADOM/JADE and in all honesty when TB said he was going to make JADE in java. I thought he was going to add graphics to ADOM, I wasn't expecting a sequel. But it's still cool and I'm still excited about it's development.