NetHack

Discussion of Rogue and NetHack for iPhone
nethacker
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Post by nethacker » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:02 pm

looks great -- can't wait.. keep up the good work

occamrazor
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Post by occamrazor » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:26 pm

I would use the bottom tile set if given the choice I think. I really like the way Rogue plays, using the upright position for the detailed map in graphics mode then rotating to see the whole map. My eyes aren't good enough to read the characters in the view with the whole map on the screen.

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:48 am

NetHack will use the same basic framework that Rogue uses (actually, I've been modifying the code to be reusable between the two), so there will be the same basic iPhone UI features of Rogue (rotate between ascii and tiles, pinch/zoom tile view, gestures, etc...).

NetHack, however, will also allow you to pick which tile set to use - it'll include those shown previously (and maybe one or two others).

TheFennec
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Post by TheFennec » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:46 am

I will gladly pay for Nethack when you finish it. I would like to request that a menu-based action option be made for it (rather than just the gestures, so you could for example hit Action->Combat->Throw instead of drawing the gesture for 'throw object' or Action->Interact->Dip), or at least programmable shortcut buttons and I'm willing to pay to have this feature added if you can add this feature. The gesture system works for Rogue because it is so simple, but this may not pan out as there are quite a number of different actions and having to constantly scroll through the menu to find the proper gesture would be a pain! Too much memorization!

I would also be incredibly interested to see Angband or especially hengband ported to iPod touch and I'm willing to also donate toward their creation once the Nethack project is complete. I realize that these would be far more difficult and may not be possible. Please email me in regard to this if you have any interest. ^_^

Steerpike
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:50 pm

Post by Steerpike » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:00 pm

Hi gandreas,
Any word on how the iPhone port of NetHack is progressing? I think there are a few people out there waiting with bated breath.

Thanks,
Tim

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:53 am

Slowly, but there's been some good progress. Hopefully all the game content is working (quests, special levels), and the basic gesture mechanism is working (refined from the one seen in Rogue), as is the whole ASCII vs tile mode (potentially even support the Absurd 64 tile set).

I've got the character creation working (though the whole matrix of what combinations of race, class, alignment, etc... lead to a less than fluid experience), and I'm in the middle of making the menuing system work (which is the heart of things like inventory management, dropping stuff, etc...). The fact that it has "display a bunch of stuff, possibly with icon, possibly with 'accelerator' character markers, possibly with items that can't be selected" which is then combined with "just view the items/select one and only one item/select none or any number of the items" (and then potentially combined with adding a number to each and every one of them) means that getting the UI right is tricky. Once I finish that part, it should be mostly playable, with the "built in help" being the next major pain (plus a whole lot of play testing to find all the wide range of weird ways that the UI is abused by the game itself).

So percentage wise, it's about 50% functionality, and with the release of The Dominomicon 2.0 nearly ready, I'll be spending some more time with it...

Steerpike
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Post by Steerpike » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:02 pm

Great, thanks for the update. I'm realy looking forward to this.

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:03 pm

Some major milestones have been accomplished - the "display arbitrary lists of items and select none, only one, or any number of them" UI is working, as is the ability to display longer text (such as shown at the beginning of the game), and asking simple prompted questions ("Are you sure you want to pray?"). The gesture system has been extended to allow for more commands (for example, swipe along the bottom right to left is "open" but if you hold at the end of the swipe, it changes to the related, but less common, "close". Similarly down along the right is "drop", hold at the end is "drop multiple items"), and with the above mentioned items, results in a high degree of playability.

There are still a couple of major things not yet there, such as displaying help files, asking for names (such as naming things, engraving, etc...) and some of the UI that deals with spell casting (the "select a location" isn't practical, especially on the ASCII view due to the fact that your finger easily covers half a dozen characters).

And one of the most important features now works - the game is correctly saved when you quit, and restored when you relaunch things! So, depending on your playing style, it is almost completely playable...

jazzrogue
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Post by jazzrogue » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:22 pm

you are the man. i'm drooling in anticipation...

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:21 am

Wait until you see the solution I've devised for the "how to target a location" - I'll be updating the screen shot gallery with some examples, and it's really cool...

MCP
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Post by MCP » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:27 pm

Have you considered using a matrix instead of a pull down menu for the command list? Can fit more commands on the screen this way. If the user is allowed to tap on a command to select it, this will save a lot of time.

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:18 am

The screen shot gallery has been updated to show the new "pick a location on the screen" UI (such as used for the travel command, or look), and I've got to say it is really slick. Basically a magnifier disk appears that you can freely drag around the screen, magnifying the one cell whatever is directly under the disk. And, in tile mode, you can use it together with the various pinch movements to zoom in/out - so you can zoom out, move across the board, and then zoom in for more exact control. Once I got it working, even I was surprised by how well it worked.

I've finally figured out a good UI for the "select how many items" problem (for example, while dropping, you can select an item, but if it is a bunch of them, you are suppose to be able to specify how many items to drop) - basically a simple double tap on the item will bring up the number entry pad, and if you are dropping a limited number of items, it shows that number instead of the simple check mark on the item.

So at this point, the only major UI issue is displaying help text - ideally, I'd like to display them as HTML (since they get nicely formatted) but the default docs don't come as HTML, just ASCII text that assumes it is being displayed on an 80 character monitor. Still, my estimate is that by next week it should be fully playable (barring show stopping bugs, of course).


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Tobias
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Post by Tobias » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:39 pm

The link to the screen shot gallery above is incorrect.
Here: gallery.me.com/gandreas#100040

Hi.
My first post. Rogue is great fun, NetHack will be 'wicked fun' indeed!
If you need beta testing / bug hunting / UI suggestions, consider me
a candidate (...though I think I speak for most posters in here).
Great work!

Please set up a paypal donation button. Instead of buying some other
app of yours I'd like to donate for what I actually use. Feels better.
Keep it up!
/T

gandreas
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Post by gandreas » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:23 pm

Barring unforeseen acts, the first beta for NetHack should be going out to testers early this upcoming week. I should be able to accommodate a few more testers, so if you are interested, you'll need to send me a private message with the 40 character "ad hoc uuid hex string identifier".

Aquaman
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Post by Aquaman » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:08 pm

Wow, count me in with those who just can't wait for the Nethack port! As a bit of UI geek, I'm really impressed with the consideration you're giving towards making the interface as sleek as possible.

/nethack squeeeeeeeee

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