Author Topic: Items, locked chests, etc  (Read 4055 times)

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #90 on: February 07, 2017, 10:23:26 PM »
I disagree. I feel secret rooms should be something where the player shouldn't have a good idea of where they are, because they don't know the rules.

"Always adjacent to a 1x1 and nothing else" is too simple. It's an easy pattern to recognize and look for. It's only marginally better than the "break a shard block."

It should be something that the player has a notion of what to look for, but it isn't always there: there's some element that they don't know and have to stumble across here and there.  It should be something that can happen by accident, but which the trigger is unclear.

Lets see...
"Visit every (non-secret, non-shop, non-boss (condemned and miniboss required)) room on the level."
"Stand (walk through) a spot in the room based on how much money you have" (the locations in this case would be large and very hard to avoid walking through, and not all possible monetary values would have an assigned location)
"Secret room is only visible when the pause screen is activated."
"Mysterious circuit teleports you there" (this MC would have to be always unidentified)
"Take damage in the room the secret room is adjacent to"

Stuff, that when it happens, the player goes "oh! hey! awesome!" and while they might be able to recognize some patterns ("many times I've come through this room on previous runs, I've gotten it...") it's far more trial-and-error.  Even when you know what the rules are they're still things that are hard to do intentionally, but they're things that you can go "hmm, I know that when I did X last time I got one, let me try that..."

Not completely arcane, but not so blatantly transparent.  Stuff that's inbetween.  Stuff the player should have to try more than one thing, or more than once, to accomplish.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #91 on: February 07, 2017, 10:49:18 PM »
Not completely arcane, but not so blatantly transparent.  Stuff that's inbetween.  Stuff the player should have to try more than one thing, or more than once, to accomplish.
I'm so bad at figuring out untold enigmas like that, I probably wouldn't ever see a secret room again. :P
I don't know, I think secret rooms should be a bonus you can actively seek out, which I'm not sure you could reasonably do with that kind of rules.

I might be too used to Isaac's approach...

Offline Misery

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #92 on: February 07, 2017, 11:28:47 PM »
Quote
I disagree. I feel secret rooms should be something where the player shouldn't have a good idea of where they are, because they don't know the rules.

With the way things are now, we do need to give the player at least something to work with.  Sacrifice items are pretty important to the game as a whole (and also just fun to use), and making them too obtuse to find would not end well.   It'd end up being like Gungeon's secret rooms (which again, are bloody awful, to the point where many players just don't bother).

The actual "secret" rooms, on the other hand, with the totally free stuff, is another matter... but again, we don't want them being so hard to find that nobody ever gets to use the cool stuff in them.   And if we were to make them overly different compared to the sacrifice rooms, that's just a recipe for confusion.

All of which I suppose is why Isaac does it the way that it does.  You can reason out their location, but it's no guarantee, and sometimes, you'll just not manage it.  Sometimes you may end up just wasting like 5 freaking bombs looking for the door only to not find it.   It ends up being one of the choice-making moments of the game, in that you have to decide wether or not to spend the resources to MAYBE open up a secret room.    Giving the player that interesting choice aspect is what I'd like to see here too; right now there is no difficult choice to make, there's just "blow up the glowy things".


Here's the problem though, even with something like Isaac's approach:  How exactly do you communicate ANY of it to the player?  Obviously you cant just outright TELL them the rules of a secret room.  Even in Isaac, it works for a very specific reason:  Isaac is super popular.  If you've been introduced to the game by seeing others play it, you probably go into it having at least a basic knowledge of how this works.  Or if not, there's still the fact that the game is popular enough to have gotten a massive, extremely comprehensive wiki.  So you can easily look up the details, and that gives you what you need to know to choose the best possible spots to bomb.

....But the game itself, BY itself, doesn't help the player learn any of it.  Heck, the player wouldn't even know there WERE secret rooms until one of two things happened:  1, an enemy (probably the green walking guys) accidentally blasts a secret room open, or 2. You find one of the game's items that points you towards them.  And back in the original Isaac this sure wasn't something you found very often (this changed with Rebirth). 

We cant just have the player relying purely on the internet for learning mechanics here.  Not only does the game not have that kind of popularity, frankly it's just best to avoid the player feeling like they need to do that anyway.

So.... how could we change things up while actually making it both possible and actually likely that the player will get the info they need to begin searching for these rooms (yet still not being anywhere near a guarantee of actually finding them)?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 11:31:43 PM by Misery »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #93 on: February 08, 2017, 12:28:29 AM »
I agree, Misery.  Which is why some of the "triggers" I had are things that people are going to do and it'll trigger it on accident (such as viewing the pause menu).

And then there's the sorts of stuff I want to do with the challenge rooms.  Something that requires skill (and a little puzzle detective work) in order to "pass."  If this room always spawns a secret/sacrifice room adjacent to it, solving the puzzle/challenge would reward the player with that room.

The problem is one of communication. If you use a visual clue that's always 100% accurate the room isn't secret (see: The Enchanted Cave II). We're only one step away from that right now: here's the trigger, it has good stuff and better stuff under it. Break all the blocks!

We need something where the player can look at it and go "ok, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't" but have a rigid mathematical rule behind it.

Offline Misery

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #94 on: February 08, 2017, 03:56:24 AM »
The one problem with those types of triggers you mentioned is mostly just inconsistency.  Other games of the same genre train the player to think "OKay, when I did THIS, a secret room opened, it's clearly connected to X action, so that's how I do it in this game".   If the trigger kept changing though, well... I'm not sure how absolutely everyone would react, but I personally would instantly suspect that I'd glitched my way into something, or that some item I picked up was having a secondary effect.  Eventually I'd probably just ignore the whole thing after awhile due to not wanting to have to spend time figuring out which one is active on a floor. The only way I could see it working is if there were, I dunno, clues dropped in various places along a given floor.   That could be interesting, though that also would add a bit of backtracking and sounds like engine work.

Puzzles I'd prefer to keep to an absolute minimum.  I'm not going to get overly arguementive about that aspect as it's not my part of the game really, but.... my general opinion on puzzles in roguelikes is usually "they shouldn't be there".  Every now and then I see a game like this try to do puzzles:  Not even once have I ever seen it work out.  Not once.  It's usually the sort of thing where you puzzle out the solution the first time, and then it's just really obnoxious every other time.

That's for "pure" puzzles though.  I'm not actually sure what you're thinking of there (if challenge rooms are testable yet in the dev build, I've not had a chance to try them yet).  I'm thinking of the sort that's like, I dunno, block/switch puzzles or mazes or stuff like that, and that's all there is to it.  You know, the "pure thinking" sort.  If you mean "puzzle" as in "HERES A MILLION DEATHRAYS, DONT GET HIT, oh and hit those two switches, thanks" that's a different story.  Half the time I don't know what people are talking about when they refer to puzzles nowadays.  Like how every platforming section in any game is a "jumping puzzle".  That damn term confuses the hell out of me.

Also yes a visual cue wouldn't work here really, for the secret rooms.

Offline z99-_

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #95 on: February 08, 2017, 10:14:30 AM »
If they were always attached to miniboss rooms, you could just design a new miniboss that uses explosive attacks and set it to always spawn on the first floor for, say, the first 3 runs after the update. Just make sure the pattern will always be able to hit the right spot (either through usual methods or a Paragon-esque 'cover the room in bullets' end pattern), and then mention in the update 'we hid the secret rooms a bit better, but we made sure you can figure out how to find them *winkwink*'.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #96 on: February 08, 2017, 12:37:48 PM »
That's for "pure" puzzles though.  I'm not actually sure what you're thinking of there (if challenge rooms are testable yet in the dev build, I've not had a chance to try them yet).  I'm thinking of the sort that's like, I dunno, block/switch puzzles or mazes or stuff like that, and that's all there is to it.  You know, the "pure thinking" sort.  If you mean "puzzle" as in "HERES A MILLION DEATHRAYS, DONT GET HIT, oh and hit those two switches, thanks" that's a different story.  Half the time I don't know what people are talking about when they refer to puzzles nowadays.  Like how every platforming section in any game is a "jumping puzzle".  That damn term confuses the hell out of me.

I mean in the sense that the player has to, at some point, say "Oooh, I gotta do X" but that's not enough, they still need to actually do X which is still going to require their wits and reflexes in a bullet hell sort of way. (e.g. "follow this path" like we have is too simple)

For example, take the rooms full of one-way floor tiles, right?  Now in the center with the chest, put a blaze cannon.
Have fun.

The puzzle is figuring out the path necessary to reach your destination.  But you've got to walk that tight rope while also dodging enemy fire, which might make you fall off and have to start over.

I mean, yeah, we've got those rooms with the rotating turrets but those rooms aren't nearly deadly enough.  Sure, a few of them I ignore, but that's because they've gotten to the point where there's so many bullets, a safe path doesn't really exist at all (and the designer said as much by putting 3 health pickups on the floor).

In terms of secret rooms, there should always be some level of ambiguity to opening them.  In Issac its the chance that there's too many possible locations and the player doesn't have the resources to check them all.  I'm looking at it from the point of view of the trigger conditions being unknown.  As in, some aspect that the player can't be aware of, but that despite that, can still trigger the room by performing some action.  You'll jump up and down and spin around and muter "Alakazam" a few times, and if it doesn't work this time, you'll try next time.  And about half the time it works.  You don't know if it's the jumping, the spinning, or the magic word, where you're standing, or the phase of the moon, but gosh darn it, it works.  Sometimes.

The problem right now is that I'm almost always disappointed to get a secret room instead of a health shard.  Sure the rewards are generally worth looking at and taking one, but 90% of the time I'd rather have the health shard.

Also remember that we have a thingie (a "restriction"? whatever those start-of-level things are) that shows you where the sac room is.  I think there's a perk for it too.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 12:44:10 PM by Draco18s »

Offline Cuedon

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #97 on: February 14, 2017, 04:06:30 AM »
I'm very much against any kind of metagaming element as a trigger unless there're specific reasons why they'd exist (Psycho Mantis and Deadpool kind of fourth wall breaking atuff) or solidly in the realm of easter egg. Pausing shouldn't be a trigger.

Neither should failure states, unless the reward is directly tied to that. Take a hit in the room? Well, here's a secret room with a missiles-to-health item, if you want to make the trade... Otherwise, I'm going to just start getting grouchy about having to intentionally take a hit in every single room just on the off-chance... And even worse if it has to be an hp-damaging hit, not just shields, because that'll just add more backtracking to pick up health.

Offline ptarth

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #98 on: February 14, 2017, 10:28:08 AM »
Add 1 health shard to each secret room. This fixes the 'boo secret room not health shard problem'.

And I'm not convinced that the current secret room spawning pattern is bad. It isn't perfect, but does have the function of adding a little bit of surprise to things. Adding an obscure opening mechanic would either be frustrating, immediately revealed via the internet, or easy enough to do that it puts us back at where we are now.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #99 on: February 14, 2017, 12:06:14 PM »
Add 1 health shard to each secret room. This fixes the 'boo secret room not health shard problem'.

That it would.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #100 on: April 19, 2017, 10:14:36 PM »
Here's some notes and suggestions I wrote down as I was playing lately:

-DeadEye Module (Sac item): Flying debris count as enemies killed, allowing you to literally stop time.

-Credit to Energy (consumable): 5cr for 10e, expensive/obsolete now that energy drinks were added to the game.

-Descriptions: x10% -> x1.1 for clarity, or x110% so it's accurate.

-Revenge Rams (sac item): Description, add "Doesn't trigger on contact damage".

-Sac Items: Double Crit cost+1 (still great for the prize).

-Orbital Drone (Consumable): Description, "temporary" -> destructible/vulnerable. As long as it survives, there's no time limit to it.

-Torpedo Launcher: The energy cost is pretty cheap for such a top tier weapon. +5 or +10 cost would be more in line with its current power I think.

-Cluster Launcher/Grenade Launcher: Description, Not explosive -> Cannot break blockages like missiles. Less cryptic that way.


-Big Game Hunter perk: Description says x10%, but files say x1.2. Which one is right? Also the icon disappears after a few rooms (that part might have been fixed along with AllinTheWrist).

-Energy transfer perk: List the benefits in the secondary slot description as a reminder.

-Keyprentice perk: I think it's too similar to Keymaster. If instead Keyprentice used the old version, they would have different pros and cons. The apprentice would give you some benefits right now, but none later and the master, despite not giving you keys on the spot, would give you more benefits on the long term. In my opinion, that would help differentiate them better and make them more interesting.

-Overkill perk: Could you bring it back, just with less bullets and much more damage? The mere concept of making your enemies explode after you killed them is fun, but as it is the perk had very negligible effects on gameplay and the number of bullets made things overly chaotic.

-Out to Lunch perk: Another one I think you could bring back. 100% skip chance, no treasure/XP. Or slip by the first time only, finding a useless junk item (OuttoLunch icon) with a description along the lines of "Come again, I'll be there." Either way you get an interesting choice between more treasures/XP or more safety.

-Indomitable perk: Description, "chance to tough things and out and not die [...]" Too many and.


-Paragon(Hard dif): Very high movement speed and constant heat-seeking projectiles. He's a bit much at the moment. Could one of those two be toned down a bit?

-Blue Fragments (+the color above): Their rate of fire seems excessive. In rooms with some space to move it's fine, but in restricted sections it's a never-ending barrage of projectiles. Could there be a tiny pause at some point in their attack?


-Condemned rooms: Even after being cleared, spikes in those rooms keep stealing HP (+pickables), over and over, very rapidly. Is that intended? It can be quite the run ender.

-Tutorial: Add room with generator+missiles pickables to get past wall of lasers and bullets section. Because knowing is half the battle.

-WarpPads: Is it possible to add a different colored frame around the next room to teleport for extra clarity? Icons often make it difficult to see the flashing background.

-Pepsisolo's test CMP_Bullets.xml: name="BulletBrightBadge" category="Shot" wall_collision_reduction="8" (8 -> -8) +missing bullets error messages

-Secret room (free stuff): To mix things up, add secret rooms with many no-lock chests, star-shaped formation of credits with consumable in the middle, large bunch of health pickups, etc. That would also make the OPness of the occasional secret items less of an issue.

-Cheap Shop: Found a shop with only one minor item for sale. Screenshot attached below. I know it says "Cheap", but come on.

-ZMC_LaserGrid (room): Can easily get stuck behind constant lasers without a chance to get away. Adding a few more destructible obstacles in front of the lasers or moving the enemies away from the door would give the player a few seconds to move out of the starting spot before it's too late.


And I'm done. Thank you for reading!

Offline Misery

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #101 on: April 20, 2017, 06:05:50 AM »
-DeadEye Module (Sac item): Flying debris count as enemies killed, allowing you to literally stop time.

I could be wrong on this one but I think this is an engine issue.  In other words, not easily fixed, which is why it still is that way.  Probably a "Keith would have to do it" sort of thing.


-Torpedo Launcher: The energy cost is pretty cheap for such a top tier weapon. +5 or +10 cost would be more in line with its current power I think.

Some energy weapons overall right now do need their costs increased. Definitely a thing that needs to happen.


-Paragon(Hard dif): Very high movement speed and constant heat-seeking projectiles. He's a bit much at the moment. Could one of those two be toned down a bit?

I'd rather not change it too much, but I'll have a look at the speed.  Nothing should be moving stupidly fast really, even in hard mode.

-Blue Fragments (+the color above): Their rate of fire seems excessive. In rooms with some space to move it's fine, but in restricted sections it's a never-ending barrage of projectiles. Could there be a tiny pause at some point in their attack?






-Secret room (free stuff): To mix things up, add secret rooms with many no-lock chests, star-shaped formation of credits with consumable in the middle, large bunch of health pickups, etc. That would also make the OPness of the occasional secret items less of an issue.

Hm, another idea:  Add a few more items, specifically ones that are a bit lower level, to dilute the pool a bit.  But yes you have a good point here.


-ZMC_LaserGrid (room): Can easily get stuck behind constant lasers without a chance to get away. Adding a few more destructible obstacles in front of the lasers or moving the enemies away from the door would give the player a few seconds to move out of the starting spot before it's too late.

Always with the bloody broken rooms.   I know which one you mean here.  Not sure why it never occurred to me to fix it.   If you spot other rooms doing a similar thing, list them as well, they might do with being checked.  I know this particular thing can be more than a little frustrating to deal with.  Particularly if you've got big spread weapons of some sort.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #102 on: April 20, 2017, 09:12:46 AM »
-Tutorial: Add room with generator+missiles pickables to get past wall of lasers and bullets section. Because knowing is half the battle.

That was actually a thing I did, as part of a tutorial revamp. But it hasn't gone in yet.

Offline Misery

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #103 on: April 20, 2017, 09:29:53 AM »
-Tutorial: Add room with generator+missiles pickables to get past wall of lasers and bullets section. Because knowing is half the battle.

That was actually a thing I did, as part of a tutorial revamp. But it hasn't gone in yet.

That'll be a nice addition.  The tutorial has always been pretty lacking.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Items, locked chests, etc
« Reply #104 on: April 20, 2017, 09:43:00 AM »
-Tutorial: Add room with generator+missiles pickables to get past wall of lasers and bullets section. Because knowing is half the battle.

That was actually a thing I did, as part of a tutorial revamp. But it hasn't gone in yet.

That'll be a nice addition.  The tutorial has always been pretty lacking.

I think I'll try adding those tutorial changes today. I'll also clear that list of fixes from Logo.