Make transporter vaults have transparent walls


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

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Post Thursday, 19th July 2018, 03:23

Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I guess I should repeat the obvious here in GDD. In a game which claims to avoid spoilers, this is a pretty big violation. What one wants is more transparency (pun intended) so people can make an informed calculation about risk vs. reward.

And don't tell me that it's ok because the vaults are optional. Camping altars in nethack is optional too.

Previous thread here.

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Post Friday, 20th July 2018, 06:59

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Hm, all the transporter vaults I've encountered have had transparent walls, I had just assumed they all did, I guess not :)
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Post Friday, 20th July 2018, 09:36

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Ok, but do you think they should all have transparent walls, or not?

For instance, gammafunk_sealed_library is almost completely opaque. It only shows the loot, together with an entrance room, and all the monsters are behind closed doors and solid walls.
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Post Friday, 20th July 2018, 16:00

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Hm, I've actually never encountered that particular vault.

I guess I haven't been convinced either way. What makes this vault "spoilery" aka what kind of spoilers could you gain benefit from, beyond any other type of vault, I mean you could argue that all vaults should be completely transparent with the same reasoning, but you've singled this type out.

What makes this particular type of vaults more "spoiler" prone than any other type of vault (Compare to a traditional type of vault, where the loot is at the end, there's a sealed door at the beginning, and the monsters are between you and the loot, instead of between you and the exit from the vault)
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Post Friday, 20th July 2018, 20:49

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Let me try to answer this question:
Siegurt wrote:What makes this vault "spoilery" aka what kind of spoilers could you gain benefit from, beyond any other type of vault, I mean you could argue that all vaults should be completely transparent with the same reasoning, but you've singled this type out.

The main justification of transporter vaults is that you can't leave (easily). So you have to fight the monsters inside the vault to both get out, and to get the loot. I'll ignore teleportation for now, and come back to it.

What makes the situation different from a normal vault is that the way Crawl works, much of the fighting is done outside the vault (by luring monsters out of the vault). Indeed, many vaults in Crawl are literal deathtraps: it's probably impossible to fight the monsters if one stays within the vault proper. For bigger vaults, the above situation is only slightly different: as you begin to clear out monsters from the start of the vault, you can use these areas as safe areas to retreat to; and you typically lure the deeper monsters to this safe area. Rinse and repeat.

These options don't exist in a transporter vault. To make the calculation for risk/reward, the player needs to know what the risks are. Only showing the reward is meaningless; a desperate attempt to pique the player's greed. In a game with permadeath, hiding the risk makes no sense: it simply scares off people from exploring the vault.

Finally, here's a clarifying thought experiment. Suppose all transporter vaults had transparent vaults, and some person made a GDD thread to say: "make some walls opaque so that you only see the loot, and no monsters". Would such a proposal pass?

*****************

Finally a word about teleportation. You can, of course, teleport out of a transportation vault (ignore things like Fo). Assume a slightly modified teleportation vault: to explore the vault, you had to pay a fee of one teleport scroll, but you could leave anytime. This is basically the same situation. It makes transportation vaults that much less distinctive than normal vaults, but it doesn't modify the reasoning above much.

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Post Saturday, 21st July 2018, 02:07

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:Let me try to answer this question:
Siegurt wrote:What makes this vault "spoilery" aka what kind of spoilers could you gain benefit from, beyond any other type of vault, I mean you could argue that all vaults should be completely transparent with the same reasoning, but you've singled this type out.

The main justification of transporter vaults is that you can't leave (easily). So you have to fight the monsters inside the vault to both get out, and to get the loot. I'll ignore teleportation for now, and come back to it.

What makes the situation different from a normal vault is that the way Crawl works, much of the fighting is done outside the vault (by luring monsters out of the vault). Indeed, many vaults in Crawl are literal deathtraps: it's probably impossible to fight the monsters if one stays within the vault proper. For bigger vaults, the above situation is only slightly different: as you begin to clear out monsters from the start of the vault, you can use these areas as safe areas to retreat to; and you typically lure the deeper monsters to this safe area. Rinse and repeat.

These options don't exist in a transporter vault. To make the calculation for risk/reward, the player needs to know what the risks are. Only showing the reward is meaningless; a desperate attempt to pique the player's greed. In a game with permadeath, hiding the risk makes no sense: it simply scares off people from exploring the vault.

Finally, here's a clarifying thought experiment. Suppose all transporter vaults had transparent vaults, and some person made a GDD thread to say: "make some walls opaque so that you only see the loot, and no monsters". Would such a proposal pass?

*****************

Finally a word about teleportation. You can, of course, teleport out of a transportation vault (ignore things like Fo). Assume a slightly modified teleportation vault: to explore the vault, you had to pay a fee of one teleport scroll, but you could leave anytime. This is basically the same situation. It makes transportation vaults that much less distinctive than normal vaults, but it doesn't modify the reasoning above much.


Out of curiosity: What if the landing square of a transportation vault always contained a teleport scroll, would this change your opinion at all?

Also: What if there was no possible spoilery way to tell what kind of monsters the vault had inside (if they were all generated randomly, for example) that would eliminate the possibility of gaining the knowledge from outside the game sources, but I get the feeling from your reasoning, that you would still push for the vault to be transparent; To be clear, your rationale doesn't actually seem to rely on the problem being spoilers (where you can gain the requisite knowledge from outside the game), but rather that you feel like a risk/reward case should be presented clearly in game all the time.
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Post Saturday, 21st July 2018, 06:52

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Generating random monsters won't help unless the monster level is limited in some way which is known to new players (transporter description might tell that behind the transporter there are 10 monsters from next floor, for example). As extreme example I would never enter a D:5 vault if it had a chance to generate a lich.
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Post Saturday, 21st July 2018, 22:24

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Generating random monsters won't help unless the monster level is limited in some way which is known to new players (transporter description might tell that behind the transporter there are 10 monsters from next floor, for example). As extreme example I would never enter a D:5 vault if it had a chance to generate a lich.

I wasn't suggesting it would be fair, balanced or reasonable to generate monsters from anywhere in game in a D:5 vault, I was just suggesting random generation of monsters in some form being
one possible solution for vault spoilers.

Also, whether random monster generation would be reasonable, balanced, and playable isn't really the point, I was asking if there was something done that removed all possibility of vault spoilers benefiting the palyer if the OP would still want the walls to be transparent (I suspect the answer is yes, and that spoilers *aren't* actually the point of his argument at all, but he hasn't responded yea or nay yet.)
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Post Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 00:11

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Siegurt wrote:Also, whether random monster generation would be reasonable, balanced, and playable isn't really the point, I was asking if there was something done that removed all possibility of vault spoilers benefiting the palyer if the OP would still want the walls to be transparent (I suspect the answer is yes, and that spoilers *aren't* actually the point of his argument at all, but he hasn't responded yea or nay yet.)
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Post Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 01:56

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I thought about Siegurt's post, and I think they do have a point. Namely: if one removes or reduces the "spoiler" aspect of transporter vaults (by choosing the monsters completely at random), I would still say that they should be made transparent. So, do my points have anything to do with spoilers at all? And does this inevitably lead to the conclusion that all walls in all vaults should be transparent?

My answer is: No. Here's why.

First, randomizing monsters does not remove the "spoiler" aspect completely. This is because a spoiled player would still have the advantage of knowing the vault layout.

But let's assume away this caveat. I think opaque walls are still a bad idea. Why? Many reasons:

  • In the actual Crawl game, the monsters are not completely random. So in the actual game, "spoilers" is still an issue.
  • In a normal vault, the "spoiler" is not a big deal: if you are surprised by the vault, you can just leave the same way you came in. In transporter vaults, spoilers are a (relatively) big deal.
  • The transporter vault is, by design, a separate area: no monsters come out from the vault. Normal vaults are not like this. So, for instance, in normal vaults, if a monster sees you through a transparent wall, they can simply open the door and come out. Thus, making all walls transparent would not work.
  • Lastly, we can compare transporter vaults with timed portals. Timed portals are also a separate area, and have fixed layouts which are not visible. So "spoilers" are again important here. One big difference is that all timed portals have an exit very near the entrance. If you are caught by surprise, you can just bail. So the "spoiler" aspect is (relatively) not such a big deal. It would be nice if one could make timed portals more transparent, but I don't know an easy way to do it.

******************

In the final analysis, I think that we should accept that the game has many mechanics inconsistent with the design document. This outcome is inevitable in a game developed by tens of different people over many years. Many things are done on the basis of: "let's try it out and see how it goes". Thus, there is an inherent status quo bias.

This is why I asked people to imagine a clarifying thought experiment. Suppose the walls were transparent to begin with. Would there be significant support for a proposal to make them opaque?

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Post Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 03:14

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:I thought about Siegurt's post, and I think they do have a point. Namely: if one removes or reduces the "spoiler" aspect of transporter vaults (by choosing the monsters completely at random), I would still say that they should be made transparent. So, do my points have anything to do with spoilers at all? And does this inevitably lead to the conclusion that all walls in all vaults should be transparent?

My answer is: No. Here's why.

First, randomizing monsters does not remove the "spoiler" aspect completely. This is because a spoiled player would still have the advantage of knowing the vault layout.

But let's assume away this caveat. I think opaque walls are still a bad idea. Why? Many reasons:

  • In the actual Crawl game, the monsters are not completely random. So in the actual game, "spoilers" is still an issue.
  • In a normal vault, the "spoiler" is not a big deal: if you are surprised by the vault, you can just leave the same way you came in. In transporter vaults, spoilers are a (relatively) big deal.
  • The transporter vault is, by design, a separate area: no monsters come out from the vault. Normal vaults are not like this. So, for instance, in normal vaults, if a monster sees you through a transparent wall, they can simply open the door and come out. Thus, making all walls transparent would not work.
  • Lastly, we can compare transporter vaults with timed portals. Timed portals are also a separate area, and have fixed layouts which are not visible. So "spoilers" are again important here. One big difference is that all timed portals have an exit very near the entrance. If you are caught by surprise, you can just bail. So the "spoiler" aspect is (relatively) not such a big deal. It would be nice if one could make timed portals more transparent, but I don't know an easy way to do it.

******************

In the final analysis, I think that we should accept that the game has many mechanics inconsistent with the design document. This outcome is inevitable in a game developed by tens of different people over many years. Many things are done on the basis of: "let's try it out and see how it goes". Thus, there is an inherent status quo bias.

This is why I asked people to imagine a clarifying thought experiment. Suppose the walls were transparent to begin with. Would there be significant support for a proposal to make them opaque?


I would say that transporter vaults are closer to a vault with a runed door, than a normal open vault where monsters can simply leave. I would also say that transporter vaults would be improved by making the monsters random from the "normal set of monsters that you would see on that floor" (which is really what I had in mind when I mentioned randomization) regardless of transparency for walls.

I'm, personally, not convinced that the difference in spoiler advantage in transporter vaults vs spoiler advantage in normal crawl is sufficiently large (in and of itself) to warrant a change.

I also think (regarding your thought experiment) that if transporter vaults had been designed as transparent to start with, that they would not look anything like the current transporter vaults, they would be a totally different thing, and comparing "transparent" transporter vaults to the current selection, even in a hypothetical, is really an impossibility to do with any honest evaulation. If there were only transparent transporter vaults, and a proposal was made for "hey let's add the ability to make some of the vaults have non-transparent parts" I think the general response would be "sure, let's design some vaults that way and see if we like them" at least that'd be my response.

So some issues with transparent vaults, generally, come up as concerns for me. When you are dealing with opaque walls, you can use the lack of visibility to your advantage, you can use maze-like areas to limit the number of creatures you encounter and interact with at a time. With transparent walls (as you point out) everything can just kind of see you and beeline straight for you. So by making some of these vaults transparent, you've removed some of the strategy for beating them.

Finally, having transparent walls *doesn't guarantee you can see everything in the vault* Even if it's 100% transparent, you might not be able to see every square (a simple 17x17 square would leave an unseeable tile in the center, for an easy example), even if you can walk all the way around it, which isn't always the case.
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Post Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 03:38

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Discovering and exploring new aspects of the game is half the fun. I remember Crawl was a lot more fun for me back when every corner could show me something new and unexpected. A blind transporter vault is still, for me, something mysterious to explore, and therefore exciting. If you could see their contents then they would be less exciting.
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Post Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 10:32

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I do not think that all transporter vaults need to have either dark or transparent walls. They pose different challenges and different decision making processes to the player. From "do you take this challenge" to "do you feel lucky, you greedy punk?" . In this case, I would keep the variety.
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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 15:26

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Several comments:

***************

Siegurt says transporter vaults are more like runed doors. That comparison is ok, and it doesn't change my argument at all. Here is an old GDD thread (started by duvessa) about making all runed-door vaults transparent. Many of the same arguments here are rehashed there. The thread includes a comment by dpeg who says that he will support a patch which makes all runed-doors vaults transparent. The posts by crate in that thread are useful (they discuss the runed vaults vs normal vaults thing).

***************

There are several comments of the form: "Taking a blind gamble is fun. I should be allowed to do that". Well. many people play slots and roulette, and many consider them fun. But Crawl deliberately tries to avoid certain things in the game. It's not because Crawl is anti-fun, but that Crawl doesn't consider itself analogous to slots and roulette.

****************

About the only point I feel has some merit is the possibility that transparent doors might reduce strategy because you can't control LoS to take down monsters. However, one should actually compare this drawback with the current situation. Right now, you have almost no strategy at all: "should I take this completely arbitrary risk and go inside the vault from which I can't easily leave?" I would say that making things transparent would be much better than this situation.

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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 18:08

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:Right now, you have almost no strategy at all: "should I take this completely arbitrary risk and go inside the vault from which I can't easily leave?" I would say that making things transparent would be much better than this situation.


Being unable to do anything other than "fight all the monsters and win or die" is really dumb, at that point, there's no point in having interior walls at all, and transporter vaults are all simple-cased to basically a big box, which means they're dumb as a feature. The main point of why crawl is fun is the ability to tactically use terrain to your advantage, if all crawl levels were a giant open square with monsters, crawl would be a really really boring game.

Being able to quickly assess whether you'll be able to complete the room and evacuate via teleport if not is something that every non-formacid (who themselves can evacuate by shafting, starting at D:1) will be able to do after D:5 or so, and only in the most dire of circumstances will result in an unavoidable and immediate death.

Through this thread I've become convinced, personally, that the availability of opaque walls in transporter vaults is a requirement to keep the feature, and your proposed solution would make them worse, not better, by a large enough margin that they would no longer serve any function at all, and should just be removed.

I would be in favor of making the minimum depth for transporter vaults something like D:5 (and not placing them on branch ends), so you're unlikely to encounter one for the first time before you've had the opportunity to get an escape.

In short, there's nothing *inherently* more spoilery about transporter vaults (at least not any more so than any other vault, or indeed the rest of crawl) and you're argument is just that one should be able to assess risk before entering the situation, which is slightly harder to escape from than normal. But crawl doesn't *generally* provide you with the opportunity to assess a situation's risk prior to being in it, you have to have an encounter, decide that it's too risky, then escape, transporter vaults are only different in that the number of ways you can escape is lower.

If crawl was a game where you could assess all risk before encountering anything (say everyone had ash's scry for the entire level all the time) the game would be really stupid and easy. By making transporter vaults 100% transparent, you remove all interest and challenge from them, either you can beat the whole thing, easily with no risk, or you don't enter, with no risk, a big block of 'no risk for some reward' is much worse than your supposed problem.
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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 18:40

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Your comments do not make any sense to me. You said in the first post that you thought all transporter vaults had transparent walls anyway. At that point, did you think that they were all just "one big box", and did not deserve to exist in the game?

Besides, transparent walls do not disallow terrain features. For instance, there is a vault (I don't know the name) where every monster is behind transparent rock walls, and there is a Deep Troll Earth Mage to dig them out. And, of course, you can have water, plants, trees and many other things. And there is no requirement that you have to fight every monster at once.

Some of the more intricate vaults can be rescued using this intermediate idea: Make the outer walls transparent, so you can see all of the vault from the outside, but make the inner walls opaque (those which separate the rooms in the vault), so you are still allowed to use LoS tricks for fighting them.

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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 19:42

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:Your comments do not make any sense to me. You said in the first post that you thought all transporter vaults had transparent walls anyway. At that point, did you think that they were all just "one big box", and did not deserve to exist in the game?

Besides, transparent walls do not disallow terrain features. For instance, there is a vault (I don't know the name) where every monster is behind transparent rock walls, and there is a Deep Troll Earth Mage to dig them out. And, of course, you can have water, plants, trees and many other things.


If you allow any opaque features, then the vault's no longer transparent, and it defeats your purpose completely (it doesn't matter if a cluster of monsters is hidden in an opaque square of trees vs an opaque square of walls) If you allow any dungeon features that block sight, then you can and will have vaults that don't allow you to see all the occupants (you can have those even with transparent walls)

Your later posts made it clear that monster-obscuring features were unacceptable, and I had thought in my inital post you only meant that the *outer* walls of the vaults should be transparent (Which I had thought was the case, but was mistaken) I had misunderstood your initial intention as being able to retain hidden chambers within the vault, which it became clear later on closer reading you did not intend.

So we have a few options for possible features inside a vault:
Regular walls, block Sight, Smite targeting, LOF, Movement, destroyed by dig/shatter
Crystal/Metal/Stone walls: same as regular walls, but only destroyed by shatter
Transparent versions of above: Same as regular, but don't block Sight
Trees: same as regular walls except only destroyed by some fire/lightning spells
Iron Grates: Blocks Movement, not Sight/LOF(but not Smite targeting), only destroyed by shatter
Deep water: Blocks Movement for some creatures, can't be destroyed, fire produces steam (which can block Sight), doesn't block LOF
Shallow water: Doesn't block movement, otherwise the same as deep water.
Plants: Blocks LOF, Sight if in two deep, movement, can be destroyed by any creature with an attack.
Fungi: partially blocks LOF, movement, can be destroyed by any creature with an attack.
Floor: blocks nothing, can't be destroyed

What do you actually propose is allowed in these new types of vaults? The things that: Don't block LOS, DO block monster movement, and can't easily be removed by any/all creatures we have transparent walls, and that's it. If blocks LOS then it doesn't meet your requirement, and if it doesn't block Monster movement, then it disallows most tactics. Blocking LOS is *also* important tactically (in that you can avoid creatures interacting with you at all) but you seem to be willing to sacrifice that aspect (since "blocks LOS" is of course incompatible with "doesn't block LOS")

Things that don't block Sight, do block movement, but don't block LOF/Smite targeting suck in conjunction with ranged abilities, either you have free kills (you have range and they do not) they have free attacks (they have range and you do not) or they are irrelevant (both you and they have ranged attacks) and are futher made irrelevant if you can simply walk around the feature to get at your target.

Easily destroyable features can at best be looked at as slowing agents, ultimately they degrade into corridors, then into open space, so I suppose "kill stuff quickly before it breaks all the plants and I'm surrounded" might be viewed as a type of tactic, but that's a stretch.

Regardless of whether it's *possible* to limit transporter vaults to interesting ones that also fit your criteria, It is also *not a good idea* to do so.

It's not a good idea, precisely *because* transporter vaults are impossible for monsters to escape, and also impossible for new monsters to enter, if you have 100% knowledge of a vault (note that your criteria requires you not only know the monsters, but also the layout of the vault with 100% clarity) before entering it, and there is no chance of interacting with anything inside without positive action on your part, then you either enter when there's 100% chance of success, or you don't enter, which creates a "benefit for no risk" situation, which is a very large problem. Whereas "being able to assess the risk of entering a vault that's hard to exit, vs it's rewards" is actually *not* actually a problem at all, and your originally stated problem of "spoilers" doesn't apply to these vaults any more strongly than it does to the rest of crawl.
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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 19:46

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:Some of the more intricate vaults can be rescued using this intermediate idea: Make the outer walls transparent, so you can see all of the vault from the outside, but make the inner walls opaque (those which separate the rooms in the vault), so you are still allowed to use LoS tricks for fighting them.

Then what's the point of making any change at all, I could satisfy this requirement, by simply wrapping all existing vaults in a row of transparent walls, if you want to be able to 'assess the risk of the vault' from outside, then you need to be able to see all the stuff inside, if you can't see some of the stuff, then that's the status quo, you aren't arguing for any changes.
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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 22:02

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I don't know how I feel about your proposal. Are you familiar with hellcrawl and how it doesn't have upstairs? I think it's pretty fun and good to not have upstairs, but it means that every floor has this exact issue - you don't know the risk of going to the next floor and you can't get out without finding an escape. Now, hellcrawl is a whole game centered around this, while vanilla crawl is not, so maybe the optimal thing to do is ignore these vaults, which you can't do in hellcrawl. Another solution, if you want vaults like this, is to put all of the down stairs inside them - then there's no more question of whether or not you'll enter the vault.
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Post Monday, 23rd July 2018, 22:44

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I like the variety in the different types of transporter vaults.
I also like the fact that they are optional; I have yet to come across one that I needed to do right away.
Since the transporters are well indicated on the Ctrl-O screen, I usually like to ignore them at first and return to them later when I am stronger; the same as I do with the ghost vaults.
The only really bad experience I've had is the one with the multiple Zot traps. That one is just nasty!

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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 00:06

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Siegurt wrote:
bel wrote:Some of the more intricate vaults can be rescued using this intermediate idea: Make the outer walls transparent, so you can see all of the vault from the outside, but make the inner walls opaque (those which separate the rooms in the vault), so you are still allowed to use LoS tricks for fighting them.

Then what's the point of making any change at all, I could satisfy this requirement, by simply wrapping all existing vaults in a row of transparent walls, if you want to be able to 'assess the risk of the vault' from outside, then you need to be able to see all the stuff inside, if you can't see some of the stuff, then that's the status quo, you aren't arguing for any changes.

This post, and the one above this are wrong, because there's too much handwaving going on. Let's take a concrete example: the same vault I mentioned above -- gammafunk_sealed_library.

It has 3.5 opaque outer walls, five opaque inner walls (walls which separate the loot and the empty entrance room from the rest of the vault). Half the outer wall on the left hand side, and one inner wall (separating the loot from the entrance room) are transparent.

Would it be a good idea to make the outer walls transparent? And would this allow you to
(a) see all of the vault from the outside?
(b) still allow you to control LoS when you go inside the vault?

So how is it the same as status quo?

*******************

Note that I said explicitly: not all vaults can be saved this way. Some vaults would really have to go.
Last edited by bel on Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 00:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 00:14

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

RoGGa wrote:Since the transporters are well indicated on the Ctrl-O screen, I usually like to ignore them at first and return to them later when I am stronger...

I hope you can appreciate that this is not a good feature: a vault whose risks are completely unknown; so you wait till your character is so strong that you can't die to what's within them -- simply to get the loot.

I would bet that many other people do this with (opaque) transporter vaults. This is because there's no rational way to know the risk vs. reward (other than peeking inside and teleporting away).

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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 00:43

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:I would bet that many other people do this with (opaque) transporter vaults. This is because there's no rational way to know the risk vs. reward (other than peeking inside and teleporting away).

I rarely do the ones that are completely transparent right away unless there is an item I really want asap and I am fairly confident that I can make it out while dragging only one monster with me...and preferably not the ghost (of me since I play offline).
Currently, the transparent and opaque transporter vaults are a novelty (just like the ghost vaults with runed doors).
My guess is that they will get tweaked/reworked for v0.23 if most cralers end up ignore them (after many YASD) until they are stronger, whether the vaults are transparent/opaque and with transponder/runed door.

With each version, I expect the devs to find new and crazy ways to kill promising CiP. In the almost complete v0.22, they certainly have succeeded. Bravo!

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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 03:57

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Can we add a new type of wall (semi-transparent) where you can see monsters inside of vault but they cannot see you?
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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 15:02

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:
RoGGa wrote:Since the transporters are well indicated on the Ctrl-O screen, I usually like to ignore them at first and return to them later when I am stronger...

I hope you can appreciate that this is not a good feature: a vault whose risks are completely unknown; so you wait till your character is so strong that you can't die to what's within them -- simply to get the loot.

I would bet that many other people do this with (opaque) transporter vaults. This is because there's no rational way to know the risk vs. reward (other than peeking inside and teleporting away).


How does this behavior differ from knowing exactly how hard the vault is and waiting until you are strong enough that you can't possibly die to what is inside? At least if it is (partially) unknown, you have the possibility of guessing wrong and being forced to respond in an intersting way to escape.

I will say it again: You have not yet provided evidence that known risk vs reward is better than unknown.
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Post Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 15:19

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

To be the devil's advocate to my previous posts...

the changelog posted by gammafunk ( see: http://crawl.develz.org/wordpress/trunk-updates-and-0-22-release-and-tournament-info ) states:

... To help make fighting ghost monsters more of a fun risk/reward decision rather than a constant chore, all player ghosts have been locked up behind special loot vaults:
    Ghosts are always sealed in vaults that have runed doors or transporters.
    The ghost is always visible from outside the vault through clear walls. You can x-v the ghost beforehand to see what you’ll be going up against.
...
So if a transporter vault has a ghost, the ghost should be visible from the outside.
I understand this to include making a lot of noise (such as with a scroll of noise) to wake up anything within the vault.
In the screen capture above though, I don't think a ghost would be visible unless it started where the visible stash is.

Hope this helps

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Post Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 08:52

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Siegurt wrote:How does this behavior differ from knowing exactly how hard the vault is and waiting until you are strong enough that you can't possibly die to what is inside? At least if it is (partially) unknown, you have the possibility of guessing wrong and being forced to respond in an intersting way to escape.

I will say it again: You have not yet provided evidence that known risk vs reward is better than unknown.


That was not a question to me but I can share my feelings for unknown telelporters/runed doors. When I see such vault, I don't enter it no matter what loot I see because it is perma-death game. So often I enter/open it very late in the game and then the monsters are weak, it is boring to fight them and the gear loot can be useless (scrolls and potions are still ok of course). Now compare that to situation when you see the monsters due to transparent walls. You make a decision "is it a good idea to fight them to get the loot". I hope you agree that having to make an actual decision is superior to no-braner "decision" "I cannot enter it because I can die before I teleport away"
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Post Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 21:15

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Siegurt wrote:
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bel wrote:
RoGGa wrote:Since the transporters are well indicated on the Ctrl-O screen, I usually like to ignore them at first and return to them later when I am stronger...

I hope you can appreciate that this is not a good feature: a vault whose risks are completely unknown; so you wait till your character is so strong that you can't die to what's within them -- simply to get the loot.

I would bet that many other people do this with (opaque) transporter vaults. This is because there's no rational way to know the risk vs. reward (other than peeking inside and teleporting away).


How does this behavior differ from knowing exactly how hard the vault is and waiting until you are strong enough that you can't possibly die to what is inside? At least if it is (partially) unknown, you have the possibility of guessing wrong and being forced to respond in an intersting way to escape.

I will say it again: You have not yet provided evidence that known risk vs reward is better than unknown.

The last statement seems like a truism to me. In a permadeath game, of course, a known risk vs reward situation is better than unknown. Besides, that's a major design goal. Do you consider Ash's "Scry" skill useless? When you meet a monster you've never seen before, do you "xv" it, or do you say: "If I knew what this monster did, it would remove the mystery, so YOLO, let's fight it?"

To come to your first question: your behavior can easily differ. Here's a made-up but plausible example: Suppose you see Nessos (or Sonja, say) in a transporter vault. I have no idea if they can generate inside a transporter vault, but this is just for illustrative purposes. You probably know that Nessos is quite tough to beat in general; but if you have access to hexes (through wands or spells), he's not bad.

Now, suppose the vault was transparent, and I have no hex wands on me right now. So I skip the vault for now. On the next dungeon floor, I immediately happen to find a hex wand. So I train a little bit of evo, and come back to handle the transporter vault.

Would you say that my behavior wasn't changed due to the vault being transparent?

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Post Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 23:46

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Note that even if all the walls are transparent, the vault could contain invisible monsters, so you can't tell if you're strong enough in any case, unless you SInv.
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Post Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 23:54

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Things can't be perfect, so we should make no effort to make them better.

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 00:07

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

1. I don't think this change would make the game more fun. An opaque transporter vault is a gamble. I don't feel cheated when I enter one and die, I think "dang! Next time I'll buff up before entering / read teleport earlier / ...". And when I win, I feel great! I beat the odds and got some great loot. Just like faded altars, opaque transporter vaults are suboptimal but fun. Optimal players can ignore them without harm.

2. The OP says that opaque vaults are "spoilery", but I don't really agree. It's not a "spoiler" to hide information from the player. Spoilery is when the hidden information results in a situation that is unfair. If you feel tricked when you discover the information, it's probably spoilery. I don't think people feel tricked when they enter one of these vaults and find very tough monsters.

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 00:45

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

A faded altar tells you exactly what it does. There's no comparison at all with an opaque vault.

I already said in the first post why the "optimal people can ignore them" is wrong. If you had perfect information, it would not be optimal to ignore them. I gave a simple example just above.

Besides, framing things on the basis of "optimal" play is beside the point. Nobody plays optimally, and most discussions of "optimal" play on Tavern are wrong (as the above comment clearly demonstrates). The point is whether it's a good idea to show information so that the player can make a calculated gamble; or whether the gamble should be purely blind.

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 01:47

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

A faded altar tells you "you will get a random god". It does not say "this faded altar will give you Makhleb". In the same way, an opaque transporter vault tells you "there will be tough monsters and good loot", not "there will be two titans and an ice dragon, and the Ring of Robustness". To me, this is equivalent.

I think we disagree about the level of information crawl player should have. You say "If you had perfect information, it would not be optimal to ignore them.", which I agree with. But I don't think Crawl would be a better game if players had perfect information. I don't think Crawl is a game like chess or solitaire. It is more like poker or hackey sack. Talking about "if you had perfect information" is interesting to think about, but ultimately not like what Crawl is or wants to be.

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 01:55

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

You cannot find out whether a faded altar will give you Makhleb by reading part of a .des file. You can find out how dangerous a vault is by reading part of a .des file. That is what makes it spoilery: a player that uses spoilers has an advantage over one that does not.

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 03:02

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

But opaque transporter vaults aren't the only vaults which give DES-readers an advantage. I agree these new vaults probably give the biggest advantage relative to other vaults.

My thinking differs in that I don't feel that is a problem. There will always be a "most DES-reader advantageous" vault. Using the logic "remove the most DES-reader advantageous vault" repeatedly will result in Crawl having no vaults. There's also no threshold we could use where the advantage gained is too small to justify vault removal. All that we're left with is subjective opinion -- a vault either provides "too much" DES-reading incentive, or it does not. And personally, I think these vaults are fine.

Further, as I said in my first post, I think these vaults, as currently designed, are a fun gamble. I think they are a great addition to the game and give players a way to take a fully consensual risk (which is the best sort of risk).

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 03:17

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Luckily, nobody is talking about vault removal, but rather making them transparent.

The point is not "consensual risk" (what does consent have to do with the issue? Nobody is forcing the player to do anything). The issue is that you should know what the risk is, so you can give informed consent.

If you put a blatant newbie trap in the game, would you defend the decision by saying: "oh, the player brought it on themselves", because they took a "consensual risk"?

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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 04:12

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:If you put a blatant newbie trap in the game, would you defend the decision by saying: "oh, the player brought it on themselves", because they took a "consensual risk"?
Well, chequers did defend faded altars...
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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 09:05

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

Tbh, how many players read Des files? I would never do it, too much of a hassle. And most players likely have no idea they exist.
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Post Thursday, 26th July 2018, 21:43

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

What if the bad thing is not that the player can't run away here, but that they can run away elsewhere ??

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Post Friday, 27th July 2018, 05:14

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I think being able to run away is a good thing as it means more decisions and weak characters can avoid too dangerous monsters. Not to be confused with extensive luring which is a bad thing indeed.
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 21:14

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

bel wrote:
Siegurt wrote:How does this behavior differ from knowing exactly how hard the vault is and waiting until you are strong enough that you can't possibly die to what is inside? At least if it is (partially) unknown, you have the possibility of guessing wrong and being forced to respond in an intersting way to escape.

I will say it again: You have not yet provided evidence that known risk vs reward is better than unknown.

The last statement seems like a truism to me. In a permadeath game, of course, a known risk vs reward situation is better than unknown. Besides, that's a major design goal. Do you consider Ash's "Scry" skill useless? When you meet a monster you've never seen before, do you "xv" it, or do you say: "If I knew what this monster did, it would remove the mystery, so YOLO, let's fight it?"

To come to your first question: your behavior can easily differ. Here's a made-up but plausible example: Suppose you see Nessos (or Sonja, say) in a transporter vault. I have no idea if they can generate inside a transporter vault, but this is just for illustrative purposes. You probably know that Nessos is quite tough to beat in general; but if you have access to hexes (through wands or spells), he's not bad.

Now, suppose the vault was transparent, and I have no hex wands on me right now. So I skip the vault for now. On the next dungeon floor, I immediately happen to find a hex wand. So I train a little bit of evo, and come back to handle the transporter vault.

Would you say that my behavior wasn't changed due to the vault being transparent?


I'm not arguing that transparency wouldn't change your behavior, of course it would. You would definitely avoid known death, you only *might* avoid unknown death, if you're paranoid enough you'll avoid even *possible* unknown death. If you know what the risk is, then you take it as soon as it's small enough, if you don't know you go with your best estimate of how much risk is there.

Nor am I saying it's not better for the *player* of course it's better for the *player* to have advanced knowledge, I'm saying it's not known to be better for *game design* Of course it's better for the player to just not die when they would otherwise die, or know what attack rolls a monster will get before they get them and so on. It's just that you haven't proved that we would have a better *game* a reduction in unexpected or challenging situations which force you to either die or respond with an emergency consumable in some fashion are actually *good* for the game, it makes it a game and not just an easy-to-solve puzzle. When you're forced to guess, you can get it wrong.

We're talking about two different kinds of "better" here :)
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 22:24

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

you're not forced to guess! you can just look at the des file! that's the entire point! jalkdf;alsdkhga;lskdghasl;dfhasl;kdfjjasdflkj
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 22:57

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

But what if the DES file contains randomness? For example, you might get either a fire dragon or an ice dragon.

If the response is "but you still learn SOMETHING from reading the file", then we've had this conversation up-thread and I agree, but don't think the problem outweighs the benefits of having these vaults.
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Post Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 23:59

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

I can now see both perspectives better now from the last 3+ posts.
I don't think some should have a big advantage since they know how to read the .des files.
But on the other hand, I wouldn't go in one without an emergency exit (like a scroll of tele) ...even if I knew the specifics of the vault.

As a compromise, would it be acceptable to most if there were something peep holes to these very big vaults?
Let's say, like see-through corners maybe.
(Fyi, I play offline and don't participate in tournaments yet.)

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Post Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 00:47

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

RoGGa wrote:As a compromise, would it be acceptable to most if there were something peep holes to these very big vaults?
That's not really a compromise, it's exactly what the OP is asking for.

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Post Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 18:04

Re: Make transporter vaults have transparent walls

While the game should be at least as fun to play for an unspoiled player as for a spoiled player, that doesn't mean that all possible ways of gaining an advantage by spoiling yourself should be eliminated, because that is beyond the goal of making the game fun for an unspoiled player, and is silly and unrealistic.

The first question that should be answered is "Are opaque teleporter vaults a good and fun addition to the game for an unspoiled player?", where the unspoiled player has no way of spoiling themselves. This is a pretty subjective question and is unlikely to get a definitive answer, but luckily devs make changes based on subjective opinions anyway so there's no problem. If the answer is 'yes', then go to question #2.

The second question, if the answer to the previous one was 'yes', is: "Do spoilers about the content of the opaque vaults give a big enough advantage that a significant amount of unspoiled players look up the spoilers, or feel significantly bad if they do not?".

If the answer to the 1st question is 'yes' and the 2nd question 'no', then opaque vaults should (or could) be in the game. Otherwise they should not. In the 2nd question note the words "significant amount of players". The actual amount is subjective, but the point is that designing an rpg game with 0 spoiler advantage is not a good idea, so you have to subjectively decide what is and isn't acceptable based on general player feelings. Since this is hard to determine objectively, the way to get the answer to the second question is to have threads like this one to gauge and influence general player opinion on this issue. Meta.

If there's one thing to take away from my post it's that the availability of spoilers does not in itself constitute a problem and is not a good argument against something. It's the player FEELING about individual spoilers that matters. Otherwise if you wanted 0 spoilers with no exception, you'd have to remove most of the content in dcss (such as every monster), or include the crawl wiki, learndb, crawl source code, etc in-game as a weird formality. So player feelings about whether a spoiler is acceptable or not is what matters. Refer to question #2.

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