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March Update

Discussion in 'Updates' started by Benji, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Benji

    Benji Director Staff Artist Writer

    Apr 4, 2016
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    Hey guys,

    Things seem to be working out well for Crimson in their new home, with the exception of their desk broken in transit. This has meant a bit delay in them being able to set up and work properly, but should be remedied soon. Most of my various appointments, scans, and meetings are out of the way now as well. My hope is that soon I'll have some better course of treatment.

    However, I have been putting some deeper thought recently into inventory systems. Thinking about what makes items and looting exciting and what makes them boring, what makes inventory management a chore and what makes it so easy you barely notice. It interests me especially since it involves gameplay (what items are available), GUI (How the inventory is presented), how it interacts with the player (weight slowing you down, making you heavier, maybe making you harder or easier to knock down, etc.), and how those items are delivered to the player. For instance, Zelda's musical sequence compared to anything with a quick 'loot all' button. A lot of things tie together for this one system.

    It has led me to want to rethink the plan for our inventory screen from a SkyUI-esque design of a simple list to something more graphical, perhaps a Diablo-style grid or a grid of identical slots like WoW. It's important, I think, since CS is so focused on the player's body and how it changes their actions and experiences, that weight be a factor as much as volume. For that reason I'm mulling over the benefits and drawbacks of Divinity: Original Sin's system. You have a grid of limited space, every item takes up one slot, but you also have a weight limit as well. But, I'm not sure it's very friendly on those who're sight-impaired.

    So, I'd like to know what thoughts you guys have on different inventory systems you've played with in other games, what you liked and what you disliked. I'm interested to hear about your experiences and ideas. With any luck, Crimson should be up and running soon.

    Until next time!
    Dolfuss, Atomicbob, Farlun and 5 others like this.
  2. daedaddy

    daedaddy Well-Known Member Member

    Jan 7, 2017
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    unlimited but limited by weight is best
  3. Nechrom

    Nechrom Well-Known Member Member

    Apr 7, 2016
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    If there is fairly easy access to unlimited storage then I don't mind a weight system.
    Maybe not both volume and weight, that feels more like a hardcore survival simulator. Something I'd expect alongside nutrition stats, vitamin demands etc.
    I still prefer a simple list with maybe options to sort or filter.
    Pathfinder used that basic list with weight system. Also had encumbrance drawbacks.

    Not a big fan of inventory tetris and even single grid inventory feels pointless when a simple list could serve the same purpose while also providing more information at a glance.
    If you're looking to make loot and equipment more interesting to get and manage, I think that could be achieved without making the system more cumbersome.

    Like you're alluding to there is really no need to have "loot all" buttons in a game like this where you're not killing things and looting lots of stuff every other second. You could still have those if you really want to, but you'd need to inform the player of noteworthy loot or you're sacrificing too much of the looting experience.
    If you can come up with a cool way to highlight good stuff that you're picking up and give the player some exciting feedback, it would do a lot for the looting just on its own.
    Dolfuss, Benji and ehhhh like this.
  4. Hyrseht

    Hyrseht New Member Member

    Nov 19, 2018
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    That does actually make me wonder, too. Whatever way inventory is handled, it's true that the player's body could well change dramatically. Does this mean we'll need different sets of clothes for different body types? Or would such things be written off as a magical adjustment to allow for a more "one size fits all" scenario? If it's the former, then having unlimited space (but limited weight limit) would make more sense. If clothes would fit no matter what, then making that space limited is a bit more feasible at least to those players especially free with changing their body's form on a whim.
    Dolfuss, Floppyantennae and Atomicbob like this.
  5. Crimson

    Crimson New Member Staff

    Apr 4, 2016
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    Dev Opinion: I’ve never liked the list UI. It has accessibility issues, as do a lot of our UI elements that utilize text. I am always open to revisiting any part of the UI that involves text, most of which I think is way too small wherever it is presented. The only parts that can currently scale up nicely in text size are the prose window and the combat window. The only parts that are just nicely big and readable by default are the battle menu options. There’s a lot of room for improvement on that inventory screen especially.
    Dolfuss, Floppyantennae and Benji like this.
  6. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

    Apr 11, 2016
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    If you want to have the PC's body to have direct impact into the inventory system then why not have the grid increase or decrease based on player size and additional equipment, like backpacks or pack mules used. However character size would have a multiplier for all of his stats based on size, so a bigger character would have a negative multiplier (0.9 for example) for agility stats and a positive for strength (1.1 e.g.), so you could be promoted in creating small-sized speeders or walking glaciers based on your playstyle/role of choice.

    On a side note: So good to have an actual discussion about gameplay for once, instead of random tragedies occuring. I hope you guys are out of that mess for good.
    Dolfuss likes this.
  7. Akhter13

    Akhter13 Active Member Member

    Apr 10, 2016
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    In general I would Keep it simple https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle and go with https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OneSizeFitsAll how many people would actually have their playing experience ruined by this [looks sideways at a certain well known reptile passing by]. Most people would consider it an ease of life hack; having said that I suspect most would agree you need plantigrade feet to wear boots and be some kind of taur to wear barding. Weight will be important for any one who wants to say I have wings so I can fly. You will have to come up with some strength:weight ratio for flying and a second one for power assisted gliders like Spyro or Chickens
    Dolfuss likes this.
  8. Atomicbob

    Atomicbob Well-Known Member Member

    Nov 24, 2016
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    Yay, hope the new place works out for ya, Crimson! Welcome to the forums, by the way. :D

    I am absolutely all for not doing a text-based inventory system; as someone who plays Flexible Survival semi-regularly, I despise that games inventory system. A grid-based inventory sounds nice, but would become cluttered quite quickly... perhaps you could go grid based, but split it up into different sections based on item type. For example, potions could be kept in it's own section of the inventory screen, accessible from a tab in the UI, or even by physically clicking a potion pouch on the character screen, and so on.

    I'm no game dev, but if I had to come up with a solution to this problem, I would hand-wave it away with a magic explanation: clothing and armor scales in size to it's wearer, and changes with them when need be.
    Now, weapons on the other hand... there's something I'd say would need to be considered in this way. A two-handed sword to a human would require both hands to wield while a larger creature, a minotaur for instance, might be able to one-hand the mighty weapon. Similarly, short creatures would need to make due with daggers and short swords for one-handing, while a normal sword would need two hands.
    I dunno, I'm talking out of my butt at this point.
    Dolfuss and Floppyantennae like this.
  9. Mustang Flex

    Mustang Flex Member Member

    Aug 27, 2018
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    I'm typically in favor of a simple list of shit you have as inventory. Of course I'm also in favor of just buying a bag of holding so inventory management is as much of a non issue as possible. Not a fan of tedium when it comes to sorting items and thinking about what you can take and what needs to stay behind. But I can see the value for making some kind of realistic ish system if that's the kind of game play you want to promote. Another issue I find is more to do with specifically this kind of text based game, loot is often take it now, or it's gone forever. Kill a dragon in DnD, and anything you can't take from it's hoard with can be hidden, and retrieved later. Same with most videa.
    ehhhh likes this.
  10. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Aug 10, 2016
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    Lilith's Throne uses a grid inventory and automatically sorts items by type, although that's all hardcoded and can't be customized to need. It's a generous set capacity but a little bit wonky since it'll group like items in a single stack, but if they have different colours/enchantments they're given separate slots. One thing that would be really useful for the loadout screen is drag-and-drop, though given refactoring the save system involved overhauling most of the game...

    Hey, you're the one what wants to bring Velos in here... ;)

    I know I mentioned it somewhere before, but FS bases weapons proficiency on the player's size (read: torso type), with penalties applied if the difference is too large (a kobold trying to wield a battleaxe, or a mountain troll with a switchblade). I know CoC had perks for different classes and those had a Strength prerequisite, I don't recall if the weapons themselves were gated. Either way, I support the idea.

    That's basically a question of coding. The 'trouble' with most text games is they don't employ a persistent world map outside of landmark locations, so the battles essentially occur in a void with no actual ability to preserve entities afterward. IIRC you can dump items anywhere you want in FS, since all locations are permanently mapped and the nature of Inform means objects are persistently indexed until explicitly removed from play.
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