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ID Category Severity Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
0003819 [DCSS] Upload: Maps and Vaults minor N/A 2011-04-16 23:16 2014-05-20 16:40
Reporter carwin View Status public  
Assigned To sgrunt
Priority normal Resolution done  
Status resolved   Product Branch 0.9 ancient branch
Summary 0003819: Lair Serial Vault : Beasts
Description Attached is serial_lair_beast.des, the first of the serial vaults proposed here: [^]

Feedback is welcomed!

My thoughts on this so far:
* I think it's very successful. The vaults consistently integrate well into the lair maps and feel interesting without being overbearing.
* I have CHANCE at 20% because the purpose of these vaults to give Lair a more Lair-like feeling. That won't work if they never spawn. There's a good amount of randomization even within the individual vaults so I don't believe they will quickly feel repetitive or predictable.
* DEPTH is L:1-4. Hounds spawn on L:1-2, Yaks on L:3-4. Bear and Elephant families were planned but don't currently have enough creature variety to make them interesting.
* A yak floor on L:3 of an early lair would be VERY dangerous. By contrast, the hound floors seem pretty trivial. I'm not sure if that's actually a problem or if it's just crawl being crawl.
Additional Information
Tags No tags attached.
Attached Files ? file icon serial_lair_beast.des [^] (9,805 bytes) 2011-04-16 23:23 [Show Content]
? file icon serial_lair_beast_02.des [^] (10,147 bytes) 2011-04-18 04:11 [Show Content]

- Relationships

-  Notes
due (developer)
2011-04-17 01:01

My only comment so far is that I think, based on the mechanics of chance, that 20% is way too high. A higher weight instead would be fine, but CHANCE is confusing and has some hidden caveats.

On that note, I don't get "un-Lair" about the current Lair? If we're concerned about the current monster set then the best method to adjust that is to adjust the spawning chances of the monsters in Lair, especially as the vaults themselves seem to be mainly mimicking the layout of the Lair...
elliptic (developer)
2011-04-17 19:53

I'm not sure why these vaults make Lair feel more like Lair either. Serial vaults are cool, but they shouldn't be used to try to make an entire branch feel different IMO.

Also, putting hell hounds and yaktaurs in serial vaults in Lair feels strange to me (especially the hell hounds).

And the hound floors probably feel trivial because hounds are completely unthreatening by the time you get to Lair and wolves aren't very dangerous either...
carwin (reporter)
2011-04-17 20:22

I'm very flexible on the weights.

I don't think anything is critically wrong with lair. This serial makes very unique maps with exceptionally lair-ish flavor, and it would be kind of wasted if it only appeared once every 20 games, that's all I'm saying. I didn't mean to start up any "branch-wide monster spawning adjustment" talk. :)

That said... I'm not 100% happy with the monster population mechanic with this serial. A floor full of hounds isn't as much fun as it seemed on paper. Maybe it'd be better to randomize the animals within each subvault, rather than use whole-floor themes.
carwin (reporter)
2011-04-17 20:29

Yeah, I've been playing through floors with wizmode characters and even though I like the layouts, I don't think the monster spawning is working. It's either boring/annoying (hounds) or way too hard (yaks). I'm gonna look into randomizing the species between the sub vaults.
carwin (reporter)
2011-04-18 04:09

OK, I removed the floor-wide themes and now each vault uses a random species from the lair spawn list (no untraditional monsters like yaktaurs). It feels much better.

Removed CHANCE and set WEIGHT to 30. Availability is now L:1-5.

"I'm not sure why these vaults make Lair feel more like Lair"

Because these vaults are literally lairs: small caves or dens inhabited by a family of monsters. The map builder doesn't create things like that and there are surprisingly few existing vaults that I would define as "lairs." Hence: new serials to add more lairs to lair. Lair lair lair.
OG17 (reporter)
2011-04-18 05:08

"Literal lairs" is missing the point a little, never mind literal lairs of yaktaurs and hell hounds.
dpeg (administrator)
2011-04-18 14:10

I like the idea of a Lair serial vault, but I think one major appeal is in (monster wise) skewed levels. The main point is not flavour, in my opinion, but I believe it would be possible to come up with vaults which make snails an interesting threat (not easy to accomplish, I know). Other interesting additions would be insects, or spiders.
carwin (reporter)
2011-04-19 04:00

Fair enough. I honestly was looking at it as more of a flavor thing, not so much a stab at a total lair revamp, which is not a task I'm up for.

If we're looking to generate interesting gameplay situations (ie: threatening snails) that sounds like a job for traditional vaults. Serials (or at least the way I design them) are about subtlety. They should almost seem algorithmically generated. For example: [^]

In my opinion the two serialized maps are more interesting and, surprisingly, more random feeling than the unserialized one.

If this isn't something the devs are interested in that's fine. I'm not trying to be controversial. I can just make some standard Lair vaults that try to kill the player in unconventional ways. :)
due (developer)
2011-04-19 09:33

Forgive my waffling, but about the "more random feeling"! That there is the funny one. I remember watching a documentary discussing the nature of random that showed a series of images of black spots on a white background, and participants were asked to rate which one they felt was "most random".

In most instances, participants selected the non-random image, because it "felt" more random; they identified groupings and repetitions as "non-random", and felt that any image that displaying clumping of spots, spots in a row, etc, were less random than an even distribution.

So in summary: random layouts are weird.

That doesn't mean random layouts are good or bad or that we should be more or less random, just that we should strive for a level generator that looks good rather than one that is random!
evilmike (developer)
2012-06-07 14:33

This is ancient and is in need of some editing, but I think this serial vault can be made into something workable. I'm going to take a look at it in the next week or so, paying attention to the feedback in this thread. Apologies to carwin for this upload falling through the cracks.
sgrunt (administrator)
2014-05-19 20:22

I landed these as a set of individual vaults/minivaults in 0.15-a0-908-g0527d05, after some modernisation and a bit of tinkering with the monster sets.

They're not a serial vault on account of Lair layouts being a lot better than they were at the time this was submitted, and getting too many of these in one place these days feels considerably less varied than you could get otherwise.
carwin (reporter)
2014-05-20 16:40

Thanks sgrunt! Happy to see it find a home. :)

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2011-04-16 23:16 carwin New Issue
2011-04-16 23:23 carwin File Added: serial_lair_beast.des
2011-04-17 01:01 due Note Added: 0012630
2011-04-17 19:53 elliptic Note Added: 0012647
2011-04-17 20:22 carwin Note Added: 0012648
2011-04-17 20:29 carwin Note Added: 0012649
2011-04-18 04:09 carwin Note Added: 0012657
2011-04-18 04:11 carwin File Added: serial_lair_beast_02.des
2011-04-18 05:08 OG17 Note Added: 0012658
2011-04-18 14:10 dpeg Note Added: 0012663
2011-04-19 04:00 carwin Note Added: 0012676
2011-04-19 09:33 due Note Added: 0012677
2011-05-18 23:29 dpeg Assigned To => dpeg
2012-06-07 14:30 evilmike Status new => assigned
2012-06-07 14:30 evilmike Assigned To dpeg => evilmike
2012-06-07 14:33 evilmike Note Added: 0018256
2013-03-15 05:38 mumra Issue Monitored: mumra
2014-05-19 20:22 sgrunt Note Added: 0026213
2014-05-19 20:22 sgrunt Assigned To evilmike => sgrunt
2014-05-19 20:22 sgrunt Status assigned => resolved
2014-05-19 20:22 sgrunt Resolution open => done
2014-05-19 20:22 sgrunt Fixed in Branch => 0.15 development branch
2014-05-20 16:40 carwin Note Added: 0026238

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