Showing posts with label dungeon crawl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dungeon crawl. Show all posts

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dungeon Crawl Script, Two Years Later

I haven't touched the Dungeon Crawl script in two years, until now. It still works like a charm. I am quite pleased with it. Perhaps others are as well. It remains one of the most popular pages on my blog. I play in Linux now. The game works great in Linux. And if you aren't using Linux, my question to you is, why not? It's free. It does not require an anti-virus or much of anything else. It will run fine on a Pentium 4 with a gigabyte of RAM--or less. Again, why not? Download Linux Mint today and see what you think.

As for the new Stone Soup team, well, I like what they've done. Gozag is my "go-to" God for Mummies. The devs have made some rather controversial changes. I do wish that they would do something besides adding a new God every other release. Polytheism is cool, but you know, new content is best, in particular for the higher levels. Let us expand the divine astral realms and allow the player to contend with the gods themselves. Also, there are more Hells to conquer, more demons and devils. What about Lovecraft's mythos? Nyarlhotep, oh my, and Cthulu! These would be interesting challenges to place before the high-level player. Do note that Lovecraft is long since dead, and copyright issues should be null, but of course, I am not a lawyer, and publishers are greedy. In my opinion, there are enough gods as it is, and some gods, such as Sif Muna, cry out to the gods for an overhaul. I can't think of any reason anyone would want to worship Sif Muna when Vehumut offers so much more to the spellcasting faithful.

My Dungeon Crawl Cheat page is laden with dust. Frequent references to Windows XP betray its antiquity. I could edit and add guidance for Windows 10, but why? I like the patina. I will never use Windows XP in this life. I tossed my last Windows XP install DVD. XP is best buried. It was good in its day, but its day is past. There are too many limitations and vulnerabilities. I remember frequent problems with Windows XP and more particularly, Windows 2000, which kept having Registry problems. I read all about the "hive," but still did not understand it. In the end, we must heed Microsoft when they say upgrade. It is their product, after all.

Will Dungeon Crawl survive? Probably not. At some point, the Devs will age to a point when they cannot be bothered anymore. It is the same with Wesnoth and other old games. The younger generation has very high expectations in terms of graphics and whatnot. I hope the Devs continue as long as they possibly can, because I think the game is awesome, but there are many who grow accustomed to modern gaming with high-resolution graphics. I prefer slow, turn-based gaming over realtime, with its emphasis on hand-eye coordination, and I believe there will always be a market for that, so perhaps there is a slender hope for Dungeon Crawl into the future.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Fatal Error in Zot Defense

Before you ask, I already reported this bug or one like it many moons ago. I have no right to complain about a free game really, so this isn't a complaint per se, just a wailing to the gods. Perhaps Kikubaaqudgha, in my case. Oh Kiku ! Why hast thou forsaken me? And devs, please tell us, why must there be a fatal error that crashes the game and stops the show? I was having fun. . . I do so love Zot Defense! Well, I don't really know any way around this error, and it always without fail pops up in Zot Defense, so there we are.

The monsters should be smart enough to figure out that they can fight their way through apparent obstacles such as plants and fireballs, and that those obstacles do not block their path. So if no other path is found, then let the algorithm choose a less desirable path that requires removing a removable obstacle.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unknown Dungeon Crawl Bug

I have profited from an unknown bug in the latest Dungeon Crawl that transforms formicids into truly awesome beings. Of course, I see no reason to inform the devs. They read my blog anyway and seem to clip away those parts of the game I happen to be using to my advantage. So, perhaps ten years from now I may mention my precise exploit...or not. But wait, now. Am I really using formicids? Perhaps I'm using felids instead. Or orcs. My memory isn't very precise on these matters of exploitable information.

I alone in the world, apparently, am aware of a bug that is immediately evident from the very start of the game and has survived many a version. I think it will be safe from detection for quite some time, well-hidden as it is, for the devs cannot find it without divining my secret, although there is always the danger they will stumble upon it by accident, as I did.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NX Not Worth Playing

Nemelex Xobeh is not worth playing anymore for any player in Dungeon Crawl. The devs decided they didn't like NX, so they made him unplayable. I think Dungeon Crawl may have reached a point of diminishing returns, where instead of creating new features, the devs just clip the features that they don't understand or else manipulate the game so that it favors their particular cherished class/profession. NX used to make the Mummy race playable...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sticking with 14

I'm sticking with version 14 of Dungeon Crawl for the time being, because it seems to me the Devs just changed game play in 15 rather than adding new and interesting features to the game, and game play was the least of all my concerns. I may tune back in with version 16 if it has something really appealing to entice download.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Things that Make You Go Hm...

My playing of the latest Crawl, 14.1, has resulted in some "Hm..." moments. For one thing, there's some kind of Ring of Liberalism I discovered in the Ziggurat Sprint. Could that just possibly be a tip of the hat to me or my regen.bat? Also, Death Knights are now recommended class for Ogres, as I maintained here in my blog was only right and just, all things considered. And then too, potions of poison now have a different description after my criticism. On a negative note, Spriggans had their wings clipped after I made note of their being better than any other race, which at one time they certainly were--back in the day when they could wear more armour. And lastly, Mummies have become empowered, now able to cast Vampiric Draining to regain hit points and benefit from rings of regeneration. Either my brainwaves are tuned into the same channel as the Devs or else there's another explanation. What I think is that a Dev or two has read this humble blog of mine, just browsing perhaps without really making a big fuss.

Well, enjoy! For I have long enjoyed the game and continue to do so. It is far better than its predecessors, although Larn did have rather a nice flavor, a personality, a culture all its own--but Larn has languished too long, while Crawl has flourished. I especially like Crawl's relatively new Sprint and the Zot Defender modules, for variety's sake, a bit of spice for an old-time crawler like myself. I will never in a thousand years get into the modern high-resource video games when my imagination can be easily and cheaply engaged by Dungeon Crawl, which has such superb strategic features. Thank goodness that some people continue to develop it and add amazing new features.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Have Fixed the Two Desktop Problem in Dungeon Crawl

Ever since I connected two monitors to my workhorse computer, which runs Xubuntu 14.04, I've had difficult playing Crawl, because it wants to span both desktops, placing the center between the screens. Playable, perhaps, but most untidy and not something I can tolerate. In my limited spare time, I have looked high and low for a workaround. Today, I found one. The solution will be found in my updated script file for Linux users.

Update: I found that wmctrl doesn't really work as well as I thought at first. While crawl will confine itself to one screen, the screen is then messed up. The player stats are missing and a lot of textual information gets truncated.

I found an even simpler solution in modifying init.txt in /usr/share/crawl/setting:

### Note: setting window, map or font sizes to '0' implies auto-sizing.
 tile_full_screen      = false
#The resolution on one of my monitors is 1680 x 1080
#Crawl likes to bleed into the next monitor if I set width to 1680
 tile_window_width     = 1670
 tile_window_height    = 1040

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thanks for the Belly-Laugh

On November 30th, 2013, someone wrote a message on Usenet to express their opinion on cheating in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

"This is pathetic. If you're going to save scum, don't play."
It is amusing to imagine how the world would be ordered if a nerd-tyrant seized control of all living beings. I suppose I would be denied forever the privilege of playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup the very moment I attempted to run a script file that preserved my save files from deletion by the game. My punishment would be life without Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Somehow I'd manage. I suppose I'd play chess more often or perhaps Wesnoth or Lexulous.

The world has no lack of nerd-tyrants revealing how things would be ordered under their regime. I may be a bit of a nerd myself, but I flatter myself on being more democratic. I don't care so much how others order their affairs, as long as their behavior doesn't harm others. The idea of someone cheating on a game in the privacy of their own home does not send me into a lather nor cause frothing at the mouth.

Over on Craigslist, I posted a message in support of my favorite computer program, and people promptly wrote in to speculate on my sex life. They assessed my mental capacity as being subnormal, and then said that actually I must be a spammer, because the definition of "spammer" apparently has been expanded to include anyone that disagrees with one's viewpoint.

I stay away from online arenas that have such examples of incivility. They can be amusing, it is true, but the problem is that sometimes I am not in the mood to laugh. Sometimes I find myself tempted to respond in like manner, which is a regression to a more primitive state of mind, a juvenile state. I prefer to surround myself with examples of behavior I would like to emulate, rather than behavior I should never want to emulate. I find that I learn from example and that I profit from observing good examples. I like being around good people.

I think it would be dangerous to be a police officer. The danger from physical violence perhaps is not quite as great as the danger from spiritual violence. That is to say, having to deal with evil-doers for a long time offers many temptations and many bad examples, so that a person would require extraordinary resilience to avoid regressing, to avoid turning from good to evil.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Retain Backups of Previous Versions

This morning while Dungeon Crawling, I picked up a potion of strong poison and did an (I)nventory check on its description. The literary quote chosen was "Poison is a harsh word. I prefer 'potion of shut the hell up.'"

Hm. Orc humor. This is not the sort of style I've seen in Dungeon Crawl before and could be a harbinger. But perhaps the elves will prevail after all.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wesnoth & Dungeon Crawl

On Thanksgiving, one should reflect upon things to be thankful for. One of the many things I celebrate is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. It is the best game for Windows or Linux at the amazing price of free. There isn't a better game anywhere at any price. One of the things that makes it so good is that it undergoes active development, so that new wrinkles are being added every six months or so. The wrinkles have, on the whole, been good ones, although the developers finally caught on to the Spriggan elite and clipped their wings in the latest version. No longer can Spriggans wear cloaks or boots, which is a significant handicap, although I still feel Spriggans are a race to be reckoned with. There is something cool about slaying a frost giant with a single blow by stealth.

I like Wesnoth too, and comparisons naturally arise between Wesnoth and DCSS because they are both turn-based strategy games, supporting Linux, Mac, and Windows, as all games should, free and open-source, based in a hypothetical, alternative Medieval era where magic is real and used in combat, and humans are just one of many intelligent species roaming the world. I do wish humans were not the only intelligent race in our own world, because then there should be greater unity among us, for we would have to unite against common threats, such as orcs and goblins. Indeed, we need orcs and goblins to keep us straight. I woke up this morning thinking what foolish things WW1 and WW2 were. In WW2, I lost my uncle, shot down over the skies of France. Germany gained nothing by the wars it initiated. It only lost. Such is often the case with modern warfare. One would hope that world leaders would take a clue from history, but they don't. As far as world leaders are concerned, history is just a topic for academics. The same mistakes are repeated, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Wesnoth does have issues that come along with the better graphics. I think that the AI is too ambitious, causing substantial delays on some maps, because the AI is busily crunching numbers prior to deciding which unit to attack or which direction to move. In Dungeon Crawl, the AI is quite simple. There is only one target, and all monsters stream toward it. Stronger monsters try to get ahead of the weaker ones. No numbers are crunched, only maze-solving to find the fastest route to the player. Thus, there are no delays at any time. I've left the room to go make coffee in the time it takes Wesnoth's AI to decide what to do, and when I came back, sometimes it is still deciding, and at that point I simply quit the game. But there are other reasons to prefer Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup over Wesnoth, such as the rich complexity of DCSS, in stark contrast to the simplicity of Wesnoth. Simplicity is not necessarily a demerit--chess is one of the simplest games ever--but complexity makes for a less predictable, more random game experience that makes each game different from the last. Wesnoth I think is more subject to the whims of Lady Luck than Dungeon Crawl, because in Wesnoth, a single ill-fated attack can kill one's leader.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Where is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup on PCLinuxOS?

I was dismayed to discover that there is no Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup available in PCLinuxOS's repo. Not even a version from five years ago. Not even Linley's Crawl, which was released a decade ago. This puzzles me, because the open-source game is available in Debian/Ubuntu, ArchLinux (which has the very latest release, thanks to Jakob Gruber), and now Fedora. I'm afraid that this is going to be a deal-breaker for me, because access to the latest version of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is absolutely essential and non-negotiable. With perfect timing, Kubuntu just released version 13.10.

I tried my hand at being a fledgling PCLinuxOS packager myself and managed to compile Wesnoth 1.10.7 successfully, of which the geeky side of my nature is proud, but this will probably benefit no one but myself. I like the idea of helping the community, but I'm no longer sure what the process is for getting packages accepted into the repo. My hunch is that you have to know somebody. I don't really want to get into the business of having to compile the programs I want anyway. It seems tedious to me. I like having access to a well-stocked, updated repo that is accessible from a well-designed and intuitive update manager. In PCLinuxOS, the update process has proved an annoyance, because a lot of mouse clicks are required, and I am not informed of the descriptions of the packages being updated. In the Ubuntu world, the user can at least read a little blurb about each of the packages being updated.

Although PCLinuxOS provides a stable and fast KDE environment, in part I think due to the strategic decision to remain with an older Linux kernel (causing problems for users with newer hardware), my chief concerns are about the update process and the lack of software available. Just from a few weeks of use, I have noticed a glaring omission (no version of Dungeon Crawl whatsoever, outdated version of Wesnoth) and I wonder what other software I will have to learn to live without or resort to compiling myself if I continue down this road. Based on my experience here, in the future I think it may be wise to remain on the well-trodden paths of either Arch Linux or Debian.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Code is Beautiful

I'm the type of programmer that likes to beautify, structure and document my code for no reason other than I like to look over the source code and refine every last detail whether it really matters or not. I think that is taking pride in my work. One advantage is that in looking it over so much, I become very familiar with its ways, so that if I ever have a problem, I can resolve it quickly. And we all know the advantage of structure and documentation, which make one less likely to forget things and faster at apprehending complicated processes. I was looking over my for Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup today, which I updated, and I thought to myself what a work of art that little thing has become. It's a lot better than it has to be. The idea behind the script file is simple and could have been accomplished with 95% less code, but I added bells and whistles to simplify use and maintenance so that it could endure the centuries, so to speak, although that does seem a bit unlikely. I was always that way with code, whether I was coding pages for web sites using html and css in a text editor or backend programs to handle the accounting for a billion-dollar corporation. I remember spending days refining the central program that handled all the accounting processes from A to Z in the company I worked for. It began its life as spaghetti code, and all the programmers hated it, but in particular I was contemptuous of it. Code like that actually offends me and fills me with the compulsion to clean, clean, clean. When I had finished with it, it was highly organized and easier to understand. Instead of looking at it in the middle of the night, say, when the you-know-what had hit the fan due to technical glitches caused by some other process, and wondering what the hell was happening, I or anyone for that matter could just glance at it and understand exactly how things were supposed to work. It had progressed from being crap-code to being a work of art. I believe that programmers should focus on getting things done first, because after all that is the most important thing, but it is also very important to focus on ease of maintenance to ensure that the code will be useful for years to come. There are some systems and programs that even the end user can tell are based upon very refined code, because of the way they work and the absence of bugs, and even when bugs do arise they magically seem less in severity.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vampire Dream

Today was Friday the Thirteenth, after all.

The night before, I went to bed late, around 0500, and had a nightmare that derived from "True Blood." Vampires were stalking my friends and I, and we were hiding out in different houses to escape, but somehow they would find us. I don't remember blood-drinking, a vampire-myth that I always found implausible, but they drained our life-force by painful touch. Each vampire had marked one of us for his own. In our absence, each vampire would starve, because they could only feed upon us and no one else. Starvation caused the vampire to lose their looks and become hideous, monstrous, savage-looking, which made them scarier. When they fed upon us, they recovered their looks. I remember the dreadful knocking on the door and then the door being opened and the monster coming in to find his prey and feed.

I awoke and found it most curious that I was dreaming about vampires, but then again, I had spent much of the night before playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and my player-character happens to be a Demonspawn Necromancer that had mastered a spell known as Vampiric Draining. I achieved final victory with this character in "The Pits" scenario of Sprint.

Later in the day, I found myself alone in a big empty building that is supposedly haunted by a noisy ghost. My friends have sworn that they have seen and heard this ghost. Of course I am skeptical, but I kept my skepticism to myself, because I have learned that people who believe in ghosts do not like to hear the opinions of those that do not. It is the same with religion. No believer really wants to hear the opinions of an atheist, especially not in person. In social settings, my object is to get along with people, not to persuade them of my beliefs. This blog is like the vault for my private opinions and philosophy.

I was asked if I felt scared to be working in the haunted building all alone, and I replied I was not. I thought to myself that if I saw a ghost, it would be a very good thing, because it would serve as a refutation of my opinions, and I would welcome the evidence. I would not say that a ghost is proof of the afterlife, because it could be many other things, but I would like very much to see one, even if I would feel frightened. I am willing to feel frightened if the reward is seeing something far out of the ordinary that will give me new knowledge. There was a time in my life when I called upon deities and certain supernatural beings to reveal themselves to me in any fashion whatsoever, but they did not choose to trifle with me. A supernatural event might have led me to belief, but such did not come.

I did not hurry and was not timid when I worked tonight. But I did not see or hear a ghost nor anything out of the ordinary. I believe the human brain is very creative and imaginative, and sometimes I wonder about ghosts, and I am willing to meet one, but I never have, and so I do not believe in ghosts.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's Hear it For Figuring Things Out

I like to search the net once in a blue moon for mentions of this blog. Most hits seem to be content scrapers and related scum that are simply trolling for visitors in order to generate ad revenue or whatever. Recently though, I found a post on Reddit with ten comments. An anonymous Ubuntu user is sweating over whether my Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup cheat script is some kind of malware. I thought to myself, give me a break. This paranoia is probably why the script is not more widely used. I don't know whether I should care or not. There's probably nothing I can do about that.

It is not like my cheat script is a compiled .exe with unknown commands, like most Windows cheats. It is plain text source code. Any text editor can read it. The commands are just plain old Linux script language written in a clear and consistent structured style. There is nothing hidden or complicated about it. Script syntax is widely documented on numerous sites, but I think even without documentation, someone good with computers could probably figure it out without much effort. But that's just the thing. People don't want to put forth any effort at all to understanding even a simple script. Not a soul in the Reddit crowd took five minutes to examine the script and understand what it does. Instead they spent those same five minutes writing homilies about the dangers of installing programs from unknown sources and telling the user to format his drive and reinstall Ubuntu, about the worst advice I've ever heard. Contrast their attitude with mine. I spent probably sixty hours working out all the details of the script, unpaid of course, just a labor of love on my part and a desire to rise to the challenge. I did not know anything about Linux scripts when I began, but learned by googling for the syntax I needed. Perhaps it is a worthless skill, after all. I know Linux scripting language now, but nobody cares really, and it won't lead to a job of any kind. No amount of computer skills will lead to a job. One needs to already have a job in order to get a job in today's lousy job market. There is no financial incentive to learn anything at all. Some of us will continue learning just for the sake of learning, because we like to learn. But we're a minority.

Well, after publishing this post, guess what I'm going to do? Run, of course. I use it, certainly not every day, but whenever I want to play Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, which may be about once a month or so. I haven't needed to make any changes since January of 2013. And the only reason I reinstall my operating system is because I feel like it, not because some know-nothings on Reddit think it's the thing to do.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Secret of Mummies

Mummies are not a popular species in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, and looking at the aptitude chart explains why--they suck at everything. By far, they are the weakest species on paper. It would seem that the developers hate Mummies and wish to defeat whoever plays them.

However, like vampires, mummies do not need to eat, so they can remain on a level for as long as they like until their aptitudes improve or they find whatever it is they are looking for. Unlike vampires, mummies do not lose their undead powers due to lack of food, and they regenerate without food.

I prefer to play mummies for a simple reason. Eating is a bother. Not having to eat allows me to focus upon more interesting aspects of the game. In addition, not having food occupying inventory slots allows a mummy to carry more. I believe that the ideal worshipper of Nemelex Xobeh is a mummy for any number of reasons, but being able to carry more decks of cards is certainly a big one.

I suspect mummies and vampires are an essential rationale the devs have for generating out-of-depth (OOD) monsters, in order to provide a modicum of risk to those players that hang around the lower levels biding their time and building up their skill levels.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Jester

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup's latest class, the Jester, available in the trunk version, seems made for me. One of my favorite player combinations in the game has for a long time been the Mummy Necromancer that worships Nemelex Xobeh. The developers have cut it close with the Jester, who worships NX from the beginning and is equipped with one of my favorite weapons, the powerful if unpredictable quarterstaff of chaos, which I usually have peeled from the dead body of Crazed Yluf.

I have desired just such a class for ages and am certain it will be my favorite class of all. Mummies have long needed such a class, because they are so weak, having a poor aptitude at every skill. Only through the power of Xobeh can a Mummy hope to win the Orb.

I do not understand the connection with Xom, but perhaps the crazed god is intended to counterbalance some of the power the Jester has in the beginning. A quarterstaff of chaos is a surprising, powerful choice for a provisioning weapon, and NX is no weakling either, providing strong powers in his decks of cards. Such a weapon as the quarterstaff of chaos could be taken to the end game, despite its sometimes nasty random effects. I think the developers are going to have to weaken the weapon in order to restore balance. Perhaps a +0 quarterstaff of chaos would be more to the point.

On a different subject, I would just like to note that my Linux Mint operating system polls the Dungeon Crawl Debian repository. When a new trunk update is released by the developers, my operating system notifies me, and all I have to do is make a mouse click, enter my password, and it is downloaded and installed automatically! Contrast the ease with which a Linux user like me receives trunk updates to the method that Windows users must employ. I even made the Windows method easier by coding a batch file that installs the program faster than the Installer, but even that was more work than the Linux method. My point is that Linux is easier to use than Windows and better as a gaming PC, if one can refrain from using the latest graphical 3D shoot 'em ups.

Turn-based strategy games are the way to go in my opinion, and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup represents the best of the best. Being turn-based is critical for me, because I need to be able to handle frequent interruptions from the phone and from customers. I would not play Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup if it were realtime. I like the Tiles version and I like the fact that the game pauses after every turn.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Linux Regen.Sh (Regen.Bat) for Dungeon Crawl

I am currently porting regen.bat over to Linux.

Alas, if only I could port regen.bat to the human existence! I have a feeling that would prove popular beyond all measure.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, November 16, 2012

Qualms about OpenSuse

I'm tempted to install OpenSuse 12.2 on one of my desktops, because it looks awesome and installs like a champ, but I'm concerned about the fact that Ubuntu is the 900-pound gorilla in the Linux world. (If you're wondering where Dungeon Crawl ties into this post, keep reading, I'm getting there.) A glance at distrowatch is enough to confirm that Ubuntu lays claim to a plurality if not a majority of Linux users today, whether through Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, whateverthehelltheycallitBuntu, Linux Mint, or one of the fifty-odd other remixes. I like the idea of staying with the crowd because there is safety in numbers, and OS problems can get mighty tricky. For my next Linux desktop, I want a KDE distro, but right now I'm leaning toward either Kubuntu or Linux Mint, because I'm worried about OpenSuse going the way of the spotted leopard. I don't understand the logic of having fifty-odd distros that do the same things and fifty-odd developer teams reinventing the wheel over and over. Say what you like about Windows, but it gained huge and obvious advantages by having a deep user base and completely focused dev team. If I go with OpenSuse it seems like I'm cutting myself off from Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, because the only linux package available for it is Debian-based, and OpenSuse is an independent distro (i.e. not Debian-based). That's a harbinger. If the OpenSuse user is missing out on DCSS, the question is how many hundreds of other programs is he missing out on? That's problem #1 when you go with an OS or distro that is #5 or worse in popularity.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, October 7, 2012

techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions