dpeg on Roguelike Radio


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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Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 20:51

dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Hi all,

In case you don't follow the Crawl blog, dpeg was recently interviewed on Roguelike Radio. It's a great, provocative listen.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd February 2012, 21:19

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

The Mountain Dwarf... Scandal. :lol:
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 09:47

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Definitely worth having a listen. It sounds like Crawl dev comms disorganization is a growing problem.
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 10:03

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

I actually sat down and listened to the whole thing while playing some rather unfortunate DC:SS runs involving things like Kobold Chaos Knights and Mummy Monks... :P

The talk does indeed go over a lot of things and interesting points are raised overall, about Crawl but also about roguelikes in general. I second Grimm's suggestion.
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 11:00

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Grimm wrote:Definitely worth having a listen. It sounds like Crawl dev comms disorganization is a growing problem.

It's a problem but I don't see it as a growing one. It's just part of how things change and progress. Each time a new medium of discussion is added, communication gets a little more... fragmented, I suppose. The tavern is the newest addition that gets significant dev discussion. So in a way, the creation of the tavern was the last time the problem truly grew (note: I think the tavern is a good thing). Dispite all this, there is some semblance of organization. Active developers tend to know what's going on, even when each one is off doing their own thing. Things are discussed, goals are set, and sometimes stuff even gets done (!)

One issue is that one previously active thing (the mailing list) is mostly unused now, in favour of irc (for actual discussion). For longer messages, the wiki or tavern tends to be used. Developers who used to rely on the mailing list are left out, unless they want to read through irc logs (which are publicly available). This has been the case for a while though. I suspect that newcomers like me aren't as bothered by this. But, dpeg joined the project 5 years ago, when communication was handled in an entirely different way.

This problem came up on IRC a while ago, and I thought a good way to help it would be to send summaries of on-topic ##crawl-dev discussion to the mailing list, every two weeks. I've been writing down notable things that have come up on IRC and have also included a few tavern things as well. I plan on sending out the first of these mails this weekend. I still don't have a concrete format, so it's just going to be a list of points. The mailing list is still used (rarely), and as far as I know it's the only medium of discussion that every developer reads. So, I hope these bi-weekly summaries will help keep everyone in the loop. It's not even an attempt to "revive" the mailing list, really. Just a way to keep everyone updated.
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 11:58

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Using c-r-d as a link between IRC and tavern is a great idea. Thanks a lot for taking this initiative, I hope it will help us in setting goals for 0.11, now that we are without a charismatic leader.
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 16:53

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

I don't like that ideas on the wiki don't seem to get as much play, which is why I handled the re-org, but there is still so much on there that ideas are lost in the noise.
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Post Thursday, 23rd February 2012, 18:30

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

XuaXua: I feel sorry and a bit guilty about that. Eino and I were somehow responsible for the wiki, and we're both gone now.
Then again, one reason of my withdrawal was that I'd been writing long treatises on the wiki but somehow that was not the way to reach the other developers.

Nonetheless, ideas on the forum (let alone IRC) *will* get lost whereas on the wiki they at least have a chance. Many thanks again for the cleanup, it was definitely worth it.
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 16:55

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

dpeg wrote:XuaXua: I feel sorry and a bit guilty about that. Eino and I were somehow responsible for the wiki, and we're both gone now.
Then again, one reason of my withdrawal was that I'd been writing long treatises on the wiki but somehow that was not the way to reach the other developers.

Nonetheless, ideas on the forum (let alone IRC) *will* get lost whereas on the wiki they at least have a chance. Many thanks again for the cleanup, it was definitely worth it.


You're welcome and thank you.

I think the interviewers hit the nail on the head with the problem, but you seemed to dismiss them, even though you are apparently the most qualified to do it:

The developers need to be organized. They need to have a set of rules of accordance for what is being built, what needs to go in and what doesn't.
And peer review.

I would love to know what design change of yours was reverted (and then put back) that caused you such grief.
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 17:10

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

(If anyone's curious about the game that dpeg mentioned, "Amorphous", it's here.)
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 21:41

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

XuaXua wrote:The developers need to be organized. They need to have a set of rules of accordance for what is being built, what needs to go in and what doesn't.
And peer review.

Easier said than done. Don't forget that we're just normal guys that do it for fun in their free time. That was dpeg's work, and it was a lot of work. Setting goals, discussing it with devs and players across the many communication mediums, hiring new devs, reviewing contributions, and many other things.

XuaXua wrote:I would love to know what design change of yours was reverted (and then put back) that caused you such grief.

It was the removal of the translocation effects of constriction (which wasn't put back). But it was probably just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Regarding the dev wiki (thanks again for your work on it), I think it has too much discussion in it. It would help if each page was linked to a tavern thread and discussion happened mostly on the tavern. And the wiki gets consolidated proposals. Or have separate pages for discussion, like wikipedia. It would also help if we had someone in charge of it who wasn't shy about deleting other people's comments when it's outdated, offtopic or just uninteresting.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 22:28

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

galehar wrote:Regarding the dev wiki (thanks again for your work on it), I think it has too much discussion in it. It would help if each page was linked to a tavern thread and discussion happened mostly on the tavern.


That's an interesting (and good) idea -- wikis are great for documentation, but not so great at discussion. Forums, exactly the opposite.
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Post Friday, 24th February 2012, 23:05

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

It's sad that the mailing list is basically dead. IMHO mailing lists are great tools to discuss.

A wiki is rather bad for discussions. It should be used to document decisions/howtos/guides on developing etc.

It's true that it is hard to follow crawl's developing process via tavern, irc, mantis, mailing list and wiki.
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Post Saturday, 25th February 2012, 14:48

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

njvack wrote:
galehar wrote:Regarding the dev wiki (thanks again for your work on it), I think it has too much discussion in it. It would help if each page was linked to a tavern thread and discussion happened mostly on the tavern.


That's an interesting (and good) idea -- wikis are great for documentation, but not so great at discussion. Forums, exactly the opposite.

I was about to come on here later with a solid proposal to do the exact same thing. Nice. :)

Was going to recommend a subforum created here exclusively for wiki topics.
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Post Saturday, 25th February 2012, 14:55

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

XuaXua wrote:Was going to recommend a subforum created here exclusively for wiki topics.

No, GDD is fine for it. There is already some wiki pages with a link to the GDD thread in the header (the ones I wrote).
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Post Saturday, 25th February 2012, 19:12

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

galehar wrote:
XuaXua wrote:Was going to recommend a subforum created here exclusively for wiki topics.

No, GDD is fine for it. There is already some wiki pages with a link to the GDD thread in the header (the ones I wrote).


I mean just do it for everything. As in, every thread in the subforum has a relevant wiki page and vice-versa, where the OP of the thread links to the page and feedback is in the thread, and you have a discussion general for non-wiki-related development (why was such and such done; what are the numbers for whatever; I found this bug, we should discuss it, not on mantis) there.

And keep all chatter on the tavern. In fact, I would say both the wiki and mantis bugs should link to the tavern chat.

At the very least, there should be a standard for thread titles; prefix with [WIKI] or [MANTIS].
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Post Saturday, 25th February 2012, 20:08

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

XuaXua wrote:At the very least, there should be a standard for thread titles; prefix with [WIKI] or [MANTIS].

Why not. I don't really see the point of it, a link to the relevant mantis or wiki page in the first post seems enough to me. Look, the thread is about dpeg's interview in which he talks about the fragmentation of communication. We really don't need several sub-forums to talk about crawl's design. GDD isn't even busy enough to justify it.
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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 00:22

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

I've linked to threads on wiki pages I've wrote, and it works well. All the discussion happens in the thread, keeping comments on the wiki page limited. People are still free to post them but they tend to be important stuff, rather than small points. I didn't tag them with [WIKI], because there wasn't a need to. There were links to the wiki articles in the threads.

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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 14:06

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Grimm wrote:(If anyone's curious about the game that dpeg mentioned, "Amorphous", it's here.)

This is actually one of my favorite games period. Listening now but i'm really curious as to how this factors in.
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Post Sunday, 26th February 2012, 23:07

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Eji1700 wrote:
Grimm wrote:(If anyone's curious about the game that dpeg mentioned, "Amorphous", it's here.)

This is actually one of my favorite games period. Listening now but i'm really curious as to how this factors in.


This game is on my favs on Kongregate. :D
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 27th February 2012, 01:40

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

It's a little annoying in that you can't see what the upgrades are before you choose them.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 16:39

Re: dpeg on Roguelike Radio

Note that the debate in this thread regarding using the wiki vs using the tavern for discussion of wiki topics has been moved to here.
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