DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce


If you are interested in helping with tiles, vaults, patches or documentation, this is the place for that.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 20:12

DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

The devs have long noted that text descriptions of monsters and items are a weak area of Crawl development. Therefore be it now announced than an organised effort to update, expand, and polish the info pages of all monsters, items, and dungeon features in Crawl is hereby underway.

The aim of the DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce is to give every object in the game
    a name
    a full description
And to some objects (monsters and items, chiefly)
    a quotation
Included in this aim are the following goals:
    reform and standardise terminology and spelling
    improve clarity and usefulness of all text
    make the game text more interesting and fun to read
All Crawlers who can code human languages are welcome to participate. A literary bent is helpful but not essential.

Non-native speakers of English are very welcome. I have experience editing foreign English so if your pig is cute enough, I can slap some lipstick on it.

Non-native speakers can be especially helpful in finding quotations from non-Anglophone literatures.
To participate in this project, read the instructions at http://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl/blobs/ ... lation.txt

Text submission guidelines are here.

Ask any questions in this thread.

obsolete information:The plan has three phases:
PHASE 1: Build a spreadsheet of all items in Crawl with their requirements for new text marked. You can help with this by opening the spreadsheet during your next game of Crawl and adding entries as you play. If there is a faster way to build this database, I’d like to know.
PHASE 2: Review all currently existing text. Revise as necessary. Write new text.
PHASE 3: Review all new and old text; submit to devs for final approval.
The spreadsheet is here. It is open to editing by all. If you have proper spreadsheet skills please fix it as you see fit.
If enough people participate it would be good to finish the bulk of the work in time for .10.
Last edited by Grimm on Wednesday, 16th May 2012, 18:05, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: updated project information

For this message the author Grimm has received thanks: 21
christhawk, coolio, danr, dpeg, evktalo, galehar, gofftc, lucy_ferre, Mychaelh, Stormfox and 11 more users
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 332

Joined: Friday, 4th February 2011, 18:04

Location: The South, US

Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 22:54

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

What is Phase 3, though?
Human kind cannot bear very much reality.
TSE

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Sunday, 10th July 2011, 23:00

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

It's ??? of course.

Spreadsheet updated to include a tab for Uniques. Let's include speech in this project. This will necessitate source diving by some skilled individuals.

For this message the author Grimm has received thanks:
MyOtheHedgeFox
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 12:12

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Cool, here's a bunch of literary quotes I gathered a while back but never bothered to upload on mantis.
Attachments
newquotes.txt
(7.06 KiB) Downloaded 118 times

For this message the author coolio has received thanks:
Grimm
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 149

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 15:39

Location: Thuringia

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 14:18

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

As a non native English speaker I don't like these quotes in item and monster descriptions at all because they just give no in game reward to making the effort I have to take to understand them. They just distract and are hard to understand. If I want to read Shakespeare in original language, I take a book of Shakespeare. If I want to play a computer game, I don't want to have to roll over a dictonary all the time just to make shure I don't have missed some in-game hint.
I would like to see more 'plain English' function/behaviour/flavour-discriptions with maybe some hidden hint here and there and some dungeon crawl stone soup 'story' background.

For this message the author Mychaelh has received thanks:
Grimm
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 15:20

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

I think it's quite obvious that descriptions contain the relevant information for the game and that quotes are just for flavour. If you don't like them, don't read them.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

For this message the author galehar has received thanks:
Grimm

Dungeon Master

Posts: 1611

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:54

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 15:37

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Probably the separate page with quotes on it shouldn't be referred to as the "extended description". Other than that, they seem fine to me.

For this message the author Kate has received thanks: 2
adityarajbhatt, Grimm
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 16:35

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

As someone who has implemented internationalization on multiple websites, I have noticed a lot of text is embedded in the code.

Would it be possible/feasible to extract all text from the code and place it in a data file, then use key references instead of text to access this data?

This might make it easier to later transform DCSS into a multilingual application.
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 17:03

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Yes, it is possible, it's just that it's a lot of work and need a lot of coding to handle the grammar. Not sure why you're asking about that here since speeches and descriptions are not in the code.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 18:04

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:Cool, here's a bunch of literary quotes I gathered a while back but never bothered to upload on mantis.


Neat!

After reading this thread I started thinking up some ideas for improving the uniques by giving them backstories and speech that isn't ridiculous. (I have an idea for Harold that I might start on later tonight when I get home.)

Also, I like the suggestion in the OP that food include its nutrition amount in the description. One thing: I feel like the suggested description "extremely unnutritious" for sultanas might be misinterpreted to mean that sultanas (and other tiny snacks) are bad for you, not that they're a minor source of nutrition. Perhaps the scale could be rephrased as "provides <adjective> nutrition", with sultanas described as "provides very little nutrition". But that's just me.

For this message the author nicolae has received thanks:
Grimm

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:31

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Quick question: is it possible to use lua to make species-specific speech in the monster speech file? I noticed that the monster description file has some lua for changing the description based on player species, mostly for a few uniques, and was curious if this also worked in the monster speech file. (The intro to modifying monster speech doesn't say one way or the other, as far as I can tell.)

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:38

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:Cool, here's a bunch of literary quotes I gathered a while back but never bothered to upload on mantis.


Coolio, these are excellent. Thank you very much. I feel that we shouldn't accept the quotes for the eyeball, scimitar, necronomicon, or reaper, for reasons laid out in the Guidelines document. The rest are cherry though. Would you mind entering them on the spreadsheet?

Mychaelh wrote:As a non native English speaker I don't like these quotes in item and monster descriptions at all because they just give no in game reward to making the effort I have to take to understand them.


This is a valid concern and the central reason why quotations will be moved to the bottom of the information screen. In the second position, as they are now, they are a hindrance to non native speakers. Also, descriptions should be kept short and game-relevant, as noted in the Guidlines document.

Furthermore non-Anglophone quotations are hotly desired, in keeping with the international nature of Crawl. Please contribute any choice examples.

nicolae wrote:Also, I like the suggestion in the OP that food include its nutrition amount in the description. One thing: I feel like the suggested description "extremely unnutritious" for sultanas might be misinterpreted to mean that sultanas (and other tiny snacks) are bad for you, not that they're a minor source of nutrition. Perhaps the scale could be rephrased as "provides <adjective> nutrition", with sultanas described as "provides very little nutrition".


Nicolae that's a very good idea. I've modified the Guidelines document to suit it. Would you care to take charge of the comestibles section of the project?

We do still need to harmonise the adjective scales. MR is currently:

    not resistant
    slightly
    somewhat
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily
    almost entirely

and stealth is

    extremely un
    very un
    un
    fairly
    stealthy
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily

I'll try to make those lists agree, and suit comestibles, later tonight. Feel free to pre-empt me.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 1611

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 21:54

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:50

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Re: quotes, those were deliberately moved off the main information screen fairly recently, since it was felt they cluttered up the description - and they also sometimes didn't fit and so weren't displayed properly. So they should probably stay on their own screen, but the toggle between description/quotation could definitely do with a better label.

Looks like a good plan generally, though. :)

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Monday, 11th July 2011, 23:55

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:Nicolae that's a very good idea. I've modified the Guidelines document to suit it. Would you care to take charge of the comestibles section of the project?


Sure, I'll give it a shot.
I was thinking that, to help give players a "baseline" for comparision, chunks and other foods with a nutrition of 1000 could be described as "provides satiating nutrition" so you know that if you eat one you'll get back to Satiated (unless you're past near starving). In the 1000-1600 range, to be specific.

Edit: Another idea - would it be feasible to make the food description depend on your current satiation, so the player can get a rough idea of what status they'll end up in?

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 16

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 02:10

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 01:09

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

I hate to be a pain but most all of that spreadsheet is a waste as most all of it is already handled internally in Crawl. There is no need to play Crawl and copy and paste text from there. Enchantments, resists, names etc. are all handled internally in Crawl so there's no need to correct or edit those or even put them on a spreadsheet. For the stuff that is not handled internally and can be improved such as quotes, descriptions, and other misc. flavour stuff, there is still no need to copy them from playing Crawl. you can access them as plain text files from:

Stone Soup-0.8 (or whatever the DCSS folder is called on your computer) -> dat -> descript
AND
Stone Soup-0.8 (or whatever the DCSS folder is called on your computer) -> dat -> database

With the help files for how to write for them in:
Stone Soup-0.8 (or whatever the DCSS folder is called on your computer) -> docs -> develop -> monster_speech.txt

For convenience I've uploaded all of these documents including the help file for editing them (monster_speech.txt).

So basically it's a matter of converting the items from the descript and database folder into one or more text documents and going through systematically and improving each item. Stuff like "it is very resistant to electricity", "an orc", and "it makes you stealthy" are already handled in game. Things like item/monster description and speech are not handled in game and are things that we can work on.

For this message the author psyshvl has received thanks:
Grimm

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 08:31

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

I thought the purpose of the spreadsheet was so that multiple people could coordinate the description updates together and know what to work on, instead of having a dozen people fixing the same description at once.
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 51

Joined: Friday, 10th June 2011, 05:10

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 12:12

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

psyshvl wrote:I hate to be a pain but most all of that spreadsheet is a waste as most all of it is already handled internally in Crawl[...]

I think your approach is definitely the right idea, and I don't think it counts as being a pain at all: Grimm said in the original post, in reference to the process of entering data manually, "If there is a faster way to build this database, I’d like to know.".

I think I understand the motivation behind having the spreadsheet, since it allows people to work collaboratively on improving the text, and means a patch can be submitted based on some kind of community consensus rather than everyone submitting little individual patches. A spreadsheet still seems like a slightly cumbersome approach to me. Using the wiki (or a subforum?), might better facilitate discussion and be easier to digest.

By the way, about the text submission guidelines, is that official? I was browsing through some of the in-game quotes, and found lots that weren't from "pre-modern or high modern literature" (Shrek, Monkey Island, Smokey the Bear...).

For this message the author DivineHammer has received thanks:
Grimm
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 12:15

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:Coolio, these are excellent. Thank you very much. I feel that we shouldn't accept the quotes for the eyeball, scimitar, necronomicon, or reaper, for reasons laid out in the Guidelines document.

I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to, but in sourcing the quotes I tried to follow the example of those in game already (there were a few contemporary pop culture references, for example in Pizza) although I
concur that they should be used sparingly. Personally I think old and short poems/songs and proverbs make the best ones.

Grimm wrote:We do still need to harmonise the adjective scales. MR is currently:

    not resistant
    slightly
    somewhat
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily
    almost entirely

and stealth is

    extremely un
    very un
    un
    fairly
    stealthy
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily


These ought to be replaced with a numeric scale, and any verbal description should be relative to the PC's level / whatever.
The player would see the following --
  Code:
MR: [x] (extremely resistant)

-- when, say, level 1, and --
  Code:
MR: [x} (very unresistant)

-- when level 10. This would give experienced players a more easily discernible scale (hm... which one was better, extremely, extraordinarily or incredibly) and the verbal description would be helpful to newbies.

And, yes, for consistency's sake the adjectives ought to be the same across the board.

For this message the author coolio has received thanks:
Grimm

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 18:35

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

MarvinPA wrote:Re: quotes, those were deliberately moved off the main information screen fairly recently, since it was felt they cluttered up the description - and they also sometimes didn't fit and so weren't displayed properly. So they should probably stay on their own screen, but the toggle between description/quotation could definitely do with a better label.

Guidelines have been modified to include this information.

nicolae wrote:I was thinking that, to help give players a "baseline" for comparision, chunks and other foods with a nutrition of 1000 could be described as "provides satiating nutrition" so you know that if you eat one you'll get back to Satiated (unless you're past near starving). In the 1000-1600 range, to be specific.

Edit: Another idea - would it be feasible to make the food description depend on your current satiation, so the player can get a rough idea of what status they'll end up in?

I like the first idea but not the second. It doesn't seem right to me that item descriptions should be tuned to the player's current status.

psyshvl wrote:I hate to be a pain but most all of that spreadsheet is a waste as most all of it is already handled internally in Crawl. There is no need to play Crawl and copy and paste text from there. Enchantments, resists, names etc. are all handled internally in Crawl so there's no need to correct or edit those or even put them on a spreadsheet.

Psyshvl thank you for this information. I did not know that game effects were handled internally. And the spreadsheet is clumsy - hey, I'm no Jack Kennedy.

I wish to make clear that computers are not my forte and I am not acting in any official Crawl capacity. I am only trying to get the ball rolling, with the intention that our efforts be applied in an efficient manner. If a wiki or subforum is the best way to do that then by all means let's do it - thank you for those suggestions DivineHammer.

DivineHammer wrote:By the way, about the text submission guidelines, is that official? I was browsing through some of the in-game quotes, and found lots that weren't from "pre-modern or high modern literature" (Shrek, Monkey Island, Smokey the Bear...).

The guidelines are not official, they are my view only. I am happy to amend them to accord with Crawl consensus.

I feel that extant quotes from things like Shrek should be replaced with literary quotes. Let's keep Crawl classy. :)

re: the Smokey the Bear quote on trees: that quote seems like a lefthanded way to indicate to the player that trees can be set on fire ingame. That would be better done in the description of trees, which currently give no hint of the possibility.

coolio wrote:
Grimm wrote:I feel that we shouldn't accept the quotes for the eyeball, scimitar, necronomicon, or reaper, for reasons laid out in the Guidelines document.

I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to, but in sourcing the quotes I tried to follow the example of those in game already (there were a few contemporary pop culture references, for example in Pizza) although I
concur that they should be used sparingly. Personally I think old and short poems/songs and proverbs make the best ones.

eyeball - These quotes are a bit hackneyed. I feel we can find more obscure ones.
scimitar - NO MONTY PYTHON
necronomicon - pop film
reaper - pop music

Again these are just my views. Consensus and dev approval trumps that.

coolio wrote:These ought to be replaced with a numeric scale, and any verbal description should be relative to the PC's level / whatever.
The player would see the following --
  Code:
MR: [x] (extremely resistant)

-- when, say, level 1, and --
  Code:
MR: [x} (very unresistant)

-- when level 10. This would give experienced players a more easily discernible scale (hm... which one was better, extremely, extraordinarily or incredibly) and the verbal description would be helpful to newbies.


I don't favor this sort of thing but if people like it then O.K.
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 20:54

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

For consistency in style, should the descriptions for monsters read like someone is speaking to the player (i.e. the 'Pokédex / Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy style), like so:
  Code:
"One of the race of elves which inhabits this dreary cave.

This one is remarkably plain looking."

Or should it reflect the PC's thought process / inner monologue
  Code:
"You feel a lump in the pit of your stomach."

Or should it read out more like an encyclopaedia entry:
  Code:
"While this juvenile form of the alligator does not have crushing jaws, nor does it have the strength to put on massive bursts of speed, it is more limber than the adult form, and its milk-tooth is still very sharp."

Or, finally, should it just be as simple as possible:
  Code:
"A very large and fat hairy bee."

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 21:15

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

I feel an encyclopaedic style should be favoured, though brevity is desirable. Casual and/or jokey descriptions are fine if well written.

"This one is remarkably plain looking" - The phrase "this one" should not appear in descriptions.

The PC's thought processes are reflected in ctrl-P messages and should not appear in descriptions.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 79

Joined: Thursday, 7th July 2011, 14:54

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 21:31

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:
Grimm wrote:Coolio, these are excellent. Thank you very much. I feel that we shouldn't accept the quotes for the eyeball, scimitar, necronomicon, or reaper, for reasons laid out in the Guidelines document.

I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to, but in sourcing the quotes I tried to follow the example of those in game already (there were a few contemporary pop culture references, for example in Pizza) although I
concur that they should be used sparingly. Personally I think old and short poems/songs and proverbs make the best ones.

Grimm wrote:We do still need to harmonise the adjective scales. MR is currently:

    not resistant
    slightly
    somewhat
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily
    almost entirely

and stealth is

    extremely un
    very un
    un
    fairly
    stealthy
    quite
    very
    extremely
    extraordinarily
    incredibly
    uncannily


These ought to be replaced with a numeric scale, and any verbal description should be relative to the PC's level / whatever.
The player would see the following --
  Code:
MR: [x] (extremely resistant)

-- when, say, level 1, and --
  Code:
MR: [x} (very unresistant)

-- when level 10. This would give experienced players a more easily discernible scale (hm... which one was better, extremely, extraordinarily or incredibly) and the verbal description would be helpful to newbies.

And, yes, for consistency's sake the adjectives ought to be the same across the board.


I second this. I can never figure out how stealthy or resistant I am based on the descriptor and end up tabbing out of the game to look it up. For that matter I have the same issue with spell success. Is Great better than Good? At least with spells I can look at the spell power and get a somewhat intuitive feel for it. I've found myself tabbing out of the game to look up the in game sliding scale for these many times. A simple in game listing of the order of various descriptors from useless to perfect would save me from all that tabbing. It could even be in the ? help screen.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Tuesday, 12th July 2011, 21:36

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:Cool, here's a bunch of literary quotes I gathered a while back but never bothered to upload on mantis.


The quote you have for hydra mentions the Lernaean Hydra, so we should use it for that monster and find a different one for regular hydras.

Likewise, the minotaur quote you have might go best with The Minotaur, and a different one found for regular minotaurs.

Finally, I've put your bush quote with the burning bush, as it fits that item much better.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 128

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:06

Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 12:14

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

plantaspoon wrote: I second this. I can never figure out how stealthy or resistant I am based on the descriptor and end up tabbing out of the game to look it up. For that matter I have the same issue with spell success. Is Great better than Good? At least with spells I can look at the spell power and get a somewhat intuitive feel for it. I've found myself tabbing out of the game to look up the in game sliding scale for these many times. A simple in game listing of the order of various descriptors from useless to perfect would save me from all that tabbing. It could even be in the ? help screen.

what about a description plus a power graph? wouldn't that be better?
A troll caster is a hybrid

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 15:58

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

plantaspoon wrote:I second this. I can never figure out how stealthy or resistant I am based on the descriptor and end up tabbing out of the game to look it up. For that matter I have the same issue with spell success. Is Great better than Good? At least with spells I can look at the spell power and get a somewhat intuitive feel for it. I've found myself tabbing out of the game to look up the in game sliding scale for these many times. A simple in game listing of the order of various descriptors from useless to perfect would save me from all that tabbing. It could even be in the ? help screen.


I agree, if there were a table of the adjectives for stealth and MR, it would make it a lot easier to make descriptions, since the writers wouldn't have to worry so much about making sure each step has clearly better or worse connotations than the other steps.

RFHolloway wrote:what about a description plus a power graph? wouldn't that be better?


What do you mean by power graph?
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 16:25

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:
  Code:
"A very large and fat hairy bee."

Seeing as the monster descriptions already in the game mostly use this format i.e. describe the monster's appearance, I propose we follow that one for the rest of them.

So, monster descriptions should look like this:
  Code:
A [strange|ugly|vicious] [snake|creature|person], [that|who|which] [describe appearance, behaviour and|or origin]

I.e. purely flavour stuff)

* Stuff that can be automatically extracted from game data (attack brands, resistances, speed, size etc. - everything that you would check the knowledge bots for) should not be mentioned to avoid redundancy and in many cases inconsistencies, but instead be listed underneath the description, as a bunch of them already are.
* Descriptions should mostly be one sentence long, as most of them already are. Important observations (giant spores explode!) deserve a sentence of their own to punctuate their importance.
* For consistency, descriptions should each begin with 'A|An', not 'The', 'This' or 'It'
* No inner monologue: 'You feel a lump in the pit of your stomach', 'It definitely deserves an axe to the head' etc.

Undecided: Should the descriptions use: 'You' (passive), 'the adventurer' or 'an adventurer' ? This should be consistent.
  Code:
This unfortunate and now massive creature once fed upon the blood of a vampire. Now it wants to feed upon yours.

or
  Code:
A giant wasp covered with thick plates of yellow chitinous armour. Its deadly venom can render a grown man unable to move.

?



None of this applies to uniques, who obviously should have as interesting descriptions as possible - some work to be done here, too.

EDIT:
what about a description plus a power graph? wouldn't that be better?

This is even better than numerical representation (well, in practice it's the same...)

The problem with using adjectives to describe the level, even though if there was a table in game, is that they're not as intuitive as a simple graph. 5 units is 3 units better than 2, but how many units is 'great' better than 'bad' ?

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 18:25

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

coolio wrote:
coolio wrote:
  Code:
"A very large and fat hairy bee."

Seeing as the monster descriptions already in the game mostly use this format i.e. describe the monster's appearance, I propose we follow that one for the rest of them.

So, monster descriptions should look like this:
  Code:
A [strange|ugly|vicious] [snake|creature|person], [that|who|which] [describe appearance, behaviour and|or origin]

I.e. purely flavour stuff)


I agree with this as a general template, however I don't think it should be an iron rule, and that the door be left open a bit for creativity and fun. The baby alligator description, for example, is good and entertaining.

* Stuff that can be automatically extracted from game data (attack brands, resistances, speed, size etc. - everything that you would check the knowledge bots for) should not be mentioned to avoid redundancy and in many cases inconsistencies, but instead be listed underneath the description, as a bunch of them already are.
* Descriptions should mostly be one sentence long, as most of them already are. Important observations (giant spores explode!) deserve a sentence of their own to punctuate their importance.
* For consistency, descriptions should each begin with 'A|An', not 'The', 'This' or 'It'
* No inner monologue: 'You feel a lump in the pit of your stomach', 'It definitely deserves an axe to the head' etc.


Agreed on all of this. Game data that is not likely to change - the size of elephants (large) , for example - should be allowed in descriptions, but not required.

Undecided: Should the descriptions use: 'You' (passive), 'the adventurer' or 'an adventurer' ? This should be consistent.

Good question. The messages are always "You X". I favor eliminating "you" - what do other people think?


The spreadsheet has been massively updated - I assume by coolio - and all monsters and uniques are on it. There is a color code for entries:

    green - already has good text in this field
    yellow/brown - needs text/revision
    red - needs much revision
I would like to see the actual text from the description files entered in all the fields so that we can compare and revise everything together. I am busy this weekend but will get started on that soon. Finally, we need a colour code for new submissions: I've entered some of coolio's new quotes and need to mark them. How about blue for new submissions?

The problem with using adjectives to describe the level, even though if there was a table in game, is that they're not as intuitive as a simple graph. 5 units is 3 units better than 2, but how many units is 'great' better than 'bad' ?


Graphs are also more international.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Wednesday, 13th July 2011, 18:52

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:Good question. The messages are always "You X". I favor eliminating "you" - what do other people think?


"The/an adventurer" feels clunky. I prefer a general "you" when necessary. If necessary, we can make most descriptions in the passive voice so the issue doesn't come up.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 128

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:06

Post Thursday, 14th July 2011, 12:12

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

nicolae wrote: What do you mean by power graph?


######..... like for spell power

so you might see

  Code:
Stealth:##........ (very unstealthy)
MR     :########.. (very magic resistant)
FR     :##.        (very fire resistant)
CR     :-..        (slightly cold susceptable)
PR     :...        (not especially resistant to poison)
A troll caster is a hybrid

For this message the author RFHolloway has received thanks:
Grimm

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Thursday, 14th July 2011, 17:41

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

RFHolloway wrote:
  Code:
Stealth:##........ (very unstealthy)
MR     :########.. (very magic resistant)
FR     :##.        (very fire resistant)
CR     :-..        (slightly cold susceptable)
PR     :...        (not especially resistant to poison)


Which would mean that MR and stealth would fit better up with the resistances on the % screen. Interesting idea. Beyond the scope of the present project, though.

Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1888

Joined: Saturday, 9th July 2011, 20:57

Post Thursday, 14th July 2011, 18:05

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

RFHolloway wrote:
nicolae wrote: What do you mean by power graph?


######..... like for spell power

so you might see

  Code:
Stealth:##........ (very unstealthy)
MR     :########.. (very magic resistant)
FR     :##.        (very fire resistant)
CR     :-..        (slightly cold susceptable)
PR     :...        (not especially resistant to poison)


One small issue: there's no actual maximum for stealth and MR.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Thursday, 14th July 2011, 18:31

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Semi-official comments:

(Disclaimer: one of the two crawl-ref founders -- this is before Stone Soup was even conceived -- is very fond of a Nethack-style encyclopedia and added a lot of quotes. Some developers added a few more. Myself, I always found them distracting and annoying. However, I have learnt that some players really get something out of them, so we should keep the quotes. Putting them into a separate page has helped with all the technical issues, like overly long randart descriptions.)

1. Help is appreciated with both descriptions and quotes. As I see it, descriptions are more interesting for the game because they can be used to tell something in-game-useful about a monster or feature (e.g. indicate the weak spots of standout monsters). With quotes, you want to make sure that they fit the in-game behaviour of the monster.

2. I tried to establish a rule that content we refer to should be old. Other developers coined this the "300 year rule". It is my belief that with the way Crawl is set up, pop references will sound cheap. (This could be just my personal distaste to pop culture, of course :) I know that someone added a Shrek-line to the Ogre description and wasn't happy about it. But it's not worth fighting over this, in my opinion.

3. I support Grimm's guidelines, they're good.

4. As far as I see it, Crawl flavour draws from classical mythology (labyrinth, harpies, merfolk, sphinx etc.), uniques (Sigmund, Crazy Yiuf, Pikel, as examples), religions (gods like Trog, Kikubaaqudgha, Elyvilon, Fedhas have good flavour), and a little goofiness (e.g. death cob monster, triple sword item). Note that the goofiness of Crazy Yiuf (for example) is completely different from Nethack's kitchen sinks and cameras. This is on purpose.

Many thanks to all who help on the matter!
User avatar

Swamp Slogger

Posts: 149

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 15:39

Location: Thuringia

Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 09:36

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:[...]
Furthermore non-Anglophone quotations are hotly desired, in keeping with the international nature of Crawl. Please contribute any choice examples.
[...]


Does that mean
a) quotations in an non-Anglophone language (e.g. Goethe in German) or
b) in English language translated quotations from non-Anglophone literature.

Necronomicon:

a)
Hat der alte Hexenmeister
sich doch einmal wegbegeben!
Und nun sollen seine Geister
auch nach meinem Willen leben!
Seine Wort' und Werke
merkt' ich, und den Brauch,
und mit Geistesstärke
tu ich Wunder auch.

b)
Good! The sorcerer, my old master
left me here alone today!
Now his spirits, for a change,
my own wishes shall obey!
Having memorized
what to say and do,
with my powers of will I can
do some witching, too!

Goethe - Der Zauberlehrling/ The Sorcerer's Apprentice
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 128

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:06

Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 12:12

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

nicolae wrote: One small issue: there's no actual maximum for stealth and MR.

but you have a maximum description, and I was aiming for a visual representation of the text description in an existing format.

I suppose you could probably have a theoretical practical maximum. on a log scale the last point would cover all points beyond a certain high level.
A troll caster is a hybrid

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 16:58

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Mychaelh wrote:
Grimm wrote:[...]
Furthermore non-Anglophone quotations are hotly desired, in keeping with the international nature of Crawl. Please contribute any choice examples.
[...]


Does that mean
a) quotations in an non-Anglophone language (e.g. Goethe in German) or
b) in English language translated quotations from non-Anglophone literature.


Both. Someone's already entered an untranslated French quote on the spreadsheet and I think that's fine.

However I don't think this quote works for the Necronomicon, as it doesn't refer to that book. Best to go with something from Lovecraft.


The spreadsheet is coming along with a lot of work having been done. Almost all monster names are entered, and all uniques are entered. You can help by adding in the extant quotes and descriptions from the game data files. You can also see where quotes are needed and go hunting. A nice one about Nagas from Indian literature - the Mahabharata for example - is called for.

The colour code for entries is:

Green - extant and good
Yellow - extant but needs editing
Blue - new submission, will be reviewed later

Thanks to everyone who is helping with this.

For this message the author Grimm has received thanks:
coolio

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 17:01

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Also it appears that comments can be added to G docs so keep an eye out for little orange triangles in the upper right corner of data boxes.
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Friday, 15th July 2011, 19:55

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:The colour code for entries is:

Green - extant and good
Yellow - extant but needs editing
Blue - new submission, will be reviewed later

Also, there's:
Orange - extant and needs to be replaced / heavily edited
Red - no description / quotation in game

EDIT: In my opinion, quotes in languages other than English should mainly be used when they are song lyrics or poems, i.e. stuff that can't properly be translated. Also, even then preferably languages that are widely spoken like German, French or Spanish. No point in using medieval Norse for the Edda quote or Finnish for the Kalevala quotes because 99% of the playerbase would not understand them.
User avatar

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 5832

Joined: Thursday, 10th February 2011, 18:30

Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 04:35

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm wrote:
Likewise, the minotaur quote you have might go best with The Minotaur, and a different one found for regular minotaurs.


Wait, you're saying there's a difference between the minotaur from the labyrinth and any other given minotaur?
"Be aware that a lot of people on this forum, such as mageykun and XuaXua, have a habit of making things up." - minmay a.k.a. duvessa
Did I make a lame complaint? Check for Bingo!
Totally gracious CSDC Season 2 Division 4 Champeen!

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Wednesday, 20th July 2011, 04:40

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

XuaXua wrote:
Grimm wrote:Likewise, the minotaur quote you have might go best with The Minotaur, and a different one found for regular minotaurs.

Wait, you're saying there's a difference between the minotaur from the labyrinth and any other given minotaur?

I made an assumption without checking the facts. I assumed that the one in the labyrinth was a unique, which it apparently is not. Let the quote be placed as originally intended.


coolio wrote:
Grimm wrote:The colour code for entries is:

Green - extant and good
Yellow - extant but needs editing
Blue - new submission, will be reviewed later

Also, there's:
Orange - extant and needs to be replaced / heavily edited
Red - no description / quotation in game


The orange makes the little comment tags in the corner of the field invisible so it would be nice to change that. Really all we need is yellow, green and blue.


EDIT: In my opinion, quotes in languages other than English should mainly be used when they are song lyrics or poems, i.e. stuff that can't properly be translated. Also, even then preferably languages that are widely spoken like German, French or Spanish. No point in using medieval Norse for the Edda quote or Finnish for the Kalevala quotes because 99% of the playerbase would not understand them.

I agree with this in general but I think a paragraph of Norse or Sanskrit would be very nice to have. Remember that the quotes are pure fluff - nobody needs to understand them. Also, with things like Google Translate, foreign quotes are not the obstacle they once were.
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Wednesday, 20th July 2011, 19:40

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

There's a bunch of uniques that are a bit boring. Now, there's been talk - in the dev. wiki at least - of removing some altogether, but as far as I'm concerned we should still strive to improve them.

As pointed out by Grimm in the guideline, ideally an unique's description should tell their backstory. This is the case for majority of uniques currently in game, however, there's still a few that lack flavour.
I've marked those that in my opinion count as such as orange in the spreadsheet.

Anyone who's feeling creative, feel free to improve upon these. Just keep in mind to not go against original flavour (f.ex. Maurice is and should remain a thief) and that the description should reflect in game realities (f.ex. You wouldn't describe Jozef as a heavily armoured spellcaster - he is often without armour) - for the most bland (Joseph: "Looks like a mercenary"), feel free to let your creative juices flow.

For this message the author coolio has received thanks:
Grimm
User avatar

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 719

Joined: Friday, 7th January 2011, 01:43

Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 11:18

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Following Grimm's indication I move here my proposal of having hymns/prayers dedicated to each god that should appear in the long description of an altar item (which currently it hasn't). Of course a switch/case code is required to choose the proper text as a function of the god altar.

The idea is to create new hymns yet based (avoiding plagiarism!) on hymns of ancient deities which suit better to each god. At least as a first step. If anyone is a skilled skald (pun intended) can compose by its own inspiration; indeed it would be interesting to have a few of them to each god, because a single one is easily boring after a few readings. Through the web you may find several compositions to pagan gods that are recent and made by authors -as poetry or songs- so I don't think is a good idea to borrow anything from there. Nonetheless there are many true hymns from religions translated to some old-style English, which are difficult to me to understand completely for I'm not a native-speaker.

You may find useful as well to provide the gods with a series of epythets -that is methaphoric surnames- like for example, Okawaru "the warmaster" or Xom "the random".

Also I suggest to avoid any gender description, because they are genderless although each of us can have some preferred personification.
duvessa wrote:Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it.

Blades Runner

Posts: 554

Joined: Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 13:38

Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 15:14

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

OK - I added a "Gods" sheet into the document, and the epythets and welcome quotes that I remember. There's also a column for the prayers, but I'm not getting a shot at these :).
... and forgive us our YASDs,
As we forgive our developers,
And lead us not into the Abyss,
But deliver us from Sigmund,
For Thine is the Roguelike,
the Orb and the Victory,
now and forever.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 16:11

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Why not just add altars to the "dungeon features" tab? That's what it's for.
User avatar

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 45

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 14:51

Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 20:32

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Remember that if you make any changes, be it adding text where there is none or altering text where its orange or yellow, change the box to blue. All the other colours are supposed to signify text already in game, with:
Orange {top priority}
Yellow {low priority}
Green {no changes required}
Blue {changes / new content}

Note that text that is desired to be changed (yellow / orange) mostly just reflects the opinion of myself and Grimm.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 39

Joined: Thursday, 2nd June 2011, 00:19

Post Monday, 25th July 2011, 20:48

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Oh, yeah, sorry. I didn't know changes were supposed to be marked blue. I added some stuff to Xtahua and Prince Ribbit, but mind you, it has to be checked by a native speaker.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 01:23

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

I'd like to move away from orange as it obscures the orange comment triangle in the top right corner of the box. Maybe a lighter shade of orange would do.

Lordfrikk, thanks for your contribution. Don't worry, everything will be gone over with a fine toothed comb by the nativest of speakers.

Roderic, I am really looking forward to increased god flavour. Others are welcome to contribute of course.
User avatar

Snake Sneak

Posts: 128

Joined: Friday, 13th May 2011, 12:06

Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 08:46

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

lordfrikk wrote:Oh, yeah, sorry. I didn't know changes were supposed to be marked blue. I added some stuff to Xtahua and Prince Ribbit, but mind you, it has to be checked by a native speaker.


Suggested a revision to

A handsome prince before he was cursed, he now adventures for a cure. Moving through the halls with great speed, he often disappears only to pop out of thin air somewhere else, usually to an adventurer's misfortune and dismay. On the top of his head he wears a crown tilted jauntily to one side. How it still holds in place on his head even after the transformation is a mystery.
A troll caster is a hybrid
User avatar

Crypt Cleanser

Posts: 719

Joined: Friday, 7th January 2011, 01:43

Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 11:13

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Grimm, the godly stuff not until this weekend because July is ending and my duties increasing exponentially every day, however I have good material. Meanwhile I am adding some literature quotations for the items and some monsters.

BTW, I miss armour in the item list.

EDIT: Armour entries added, not filled yet.
duvessa wrote:Christ, you can't remove anything without tavern complaining about it.

Mines Malingerer

Posts: 39

Joined: Thursday, 2nd June 2011, 00:19

Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 14:36

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

RFHolloway wrote:
lordfrikk wrote:Oh, yeah, sorry. I didn't know changes were supposed to be marked blue. I added some stuff to Xtahua and Prince Ribbit, but mind you, it has to be checked by a native speaker.


Suggested a revision to

A handsome prince before he was cursed, he now adventures for a cure. Moving through the halls with great speed, he often disappears only to pop out of thin air somewhere else, usually to an adventurer's misfortune and dismay. On the top of his head he wears a crown tilted jauntily to one side. How it still holds in place on his head even after the transformation is a mystery.


Of course, corrections are welcome. The adjective I wanted to use for the crown position was one that would mean that it sits there like a big hat on a small head and thus sliding a bit to the side, making him look dorky. Something like this, except there is a crown instead of a hat, of course.

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 6393

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 18:17

Post Tuesday, 26th July 2011, 15:40

Re: DCSS Text Improvement Taskforce

Roderic wrote:Grimm, the godly stuff not until this weekend because July is ending and my duties increasing exponentially every day, however I have good material. Meanwhile I am adding some literature quotations for the items and some monsters.

BTW, I miss armour in the item list.

EDIT: Armour entries added, not filled yet.


The items page needs a lot of attention. Thanks for your help.
Next

Return to Contributions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.