Grid vs free movement

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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » April 21st, 2015, 11:47 pm

Gizmo wrote:
Woolfe wrote:Why does the Grid make such a massive difference? I keep being told it is but not being given examples, other than the Spinner and Teleport, both of which could theoretically be replicated in a freer movement methodology.
Dungeoncrawler is a puzzle genre under the hood. PnP D&D used the grid of 10x10 to allow the players to map the layout essentially blind, for knowing that each step was 10'; it is the same in BT, and EoB, and even Grimrock. Grimrock released with graph paper; though it does have an auto-map, as many before it. The map is often a puzzle itself.
Yeah I know all this. But from the descriptions being given, there is little that is different from the more free movement. Other than being able to move on funny angles.

The ease of mapping.. sure loved that myself, but that is still more than feasible, just cause you have got 360 degrees of movements doesn't change if the room is 30 x 30 or 10 x 50. Walking along the wall mapping it out is still the same whether you have free movement or 10' steps. Well as long as you have some way of defining each block of distance.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Gizmo » April 21st, 2015, 11:54 pm

Woolfe wrote: Walking along the wall mapping it out is still the same whether you have free movement or 10' steps. Well as long as you have some way of defining each block of distance.
Key taps... One touch : one step : one tile. (And being sure of this on the floors above and below.)
Menzobarenzan* and Stone Prophet both had free-movement as an option, but I could not stand to play them using it.

Consider that these games are generally party based, and the view is of the generalized location of the party (in the 10x10 square). Consider also that the party's facing indicates what members can be attacked, because opponents can be on the West, East, North and South.

*An unforgivable oddity of Menzo, is that they did not ensure that the maps were entirely traversable in grid-step mode. There were locations that would trap you if you switched to grid-step; for having obstructions that had to be passed at an angle. :x

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » April 22nd, 2015, 7:05 am

Gizmo wrote:
Woolfe wrote:Walking along the wall mapping it out is still the same whether you have free movement or 10' steps. Well as long as you have some way of defining each block of distance.
Key taps... One touch : one step : one tile. (And being sure of this on the floors above and below.)
Menzobarenzan* and Stone Prophet both had free-movement as an option, but I could not stand to play them using it.

Consider that these games are generally party based, and the view is of the generalized location of the party (in the 10x10 square). Consider also that the party's facing indicates what members can be attacked, because opponents can be on the West, East, North and South.
Right, gizmo, what you said comes back to the difference between an analog of real space (as is the general style of strategy games), and the implication of being the free agent within the meat-space itself.
A grid map with free movement would just be like Wolfenstein :P Controlling a party of characters like that would just feel weird.

As for realtime, as far as I recall BT1 was based on movement count for day/night cycle? Or was it by time played and movement only did the 'check' (nothing happened if you were still)? Bard songs were real time. Until combat rounds. That's about it, iirc. I seem to recall one of the things that was love it or hate it about BT2 were the realtime snares. Those were true realtime in that it didn't matter if you were still or moving. Other places, things didn't happen unless you moved; a sort of pseudo-realtime.
Point being, the game engine wasn't foundationally realtime - only various aspects had realtime elements applicable to them.

I haven't decided on what side of the fence I prefer in regards to realtime gameplay - outside the combat system at least. Only because the classic games weren't entirely turn-based or realtime, but somewhere in between. At the very least, the feel of 'time' in the game should be the same. How? Other than duplicating those gameplay mechanics, I dunno. :P



As for Woolfe, your best argument now for free movement to convince me was free movement but still in a grid map. But I addressed that in this comment... and still not something I'd like to see.

That said, I'm not trying to convince you to prefer grid over free movement. So I have no desire to successfully "prove" to you why grid is essential to classic faithfulness. That's entirely a matter of opinion and preference based on what you valued most in the classics. I've explained and emphasized why certain aspects of the grid system are important to us, but because you can't empathize with that, you can't understand why it would be important to us. And that's fine.
Objectively, there are many aspects of a grid-based system which are vastly different from a free movement system, which have nothing to do with 'out of date technology'. Even if the gameplay effects of those technical aspects are 'translated' to a free system, they are technically different, and lose what we consider important and nostalgic. I know you can't understand that. That's fine. But we have explained why it's important to us. :ugeek:


ETA: Another example of analog gameplay vs meatspace -- 396 berserkers! Well, any combat, really. We don't see the creatures in the visual space, we see their artistic "card" representation, much like a card/deck-based combat or rpg. We don't have this jarring merging of real-space with imaginary space. As we play, we don't think "how the heck do 396 berserkers fit in this little 10x10 square?! (or the next few hallways)" we just run in blood pumping.

I used to imagine what certain rooms look liked with the descriptions given - beyond the bland wall textures. In Dragon Wars, I even took some of my maps and visualized them more realistically. And it wasn't because I wished the game tech was better or more realistic, but because my imagination was running rampant trying to conceptualize what the game was impressing on me. That's one of the great aspects of RPGs, imo. Not realism, but imagination.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » April 22nd, 2015, 9:25 am

thebruce wrote:As for realtime, as far as I recall BT1 was based on movement count for day/night cycle?
Of the three, I've completed BT2. IRRC, in BT2, the party could be attacked at any time; even standing still. Wandering monsters could chance upon the party**. This is the case in 'Eye of the Beholder', and several others as well. Menzobarenzan I'm not positive about, but I think so; at least it seems so in the first town during the fire.

**Though they were never shown wandering in the map, you could find them, and have an encounter.
That's one of the great aspects of RPGs, imo. Not realism, but imagination.
For me, these [below] depict the same thing, and are effectively the same thing. ;)
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by Woolfe » April 22nd, 2015, 11:35 pm

Gizmo wrote:
Woolfe wrote: Walking along the wall mapping it out is still the same whether you have free movement or 10' steps. Well as long as you have some way of defining each block of distance.
Key taps... One touch : one step : one tile. (And being sure of this on the floors above and below.)
Menzobarenzan* and Stone Prophet both had free-movement as an option, but I could not stand to play them using it.

Consider that these games are generally party based, and the view is of the generalized location of the party (in the 10x10 square). Consider also that the party's facing indicates what members can be attacked, because opponents can be on the West, East, North and South.
Assuming the party is in formation, which is exactly what these sort of games did, then it could still be replicated in a freer environment. This is what I am trying to get my head around. All of the "strategy" elements that are being suggested as reasons why it is important, are elements that can work in the Freer movement. Which suggests to me that either there is some other element that makes it so, or that ultimately it is just about someone's preference.

Your comment on the step element is something I personally agree with, one of the reasons I tend to prefer turn based games is that they are controlled in this manner. In a turn you move X amount of space etc. Which is why I was equating it with TB. But with you mentioning it being realtime, I must admit I am thrown. Altho was it more like traditional P&P with a "Turn" being x amount of time, so when X amount of time passes, then a "turn" has occurred?
thebruce wrote:As for Woolfe, your best argument now for free movement to convince me was free movement but still in a grid map. But I addressed that in this comment... and still not something I'd like to see.
I am not trying to convince you of anything. I am trying to understand your logic behind the "strategies of the grid".
thebruce wrote:That said, I'm not trying to convince you to prefer grid over free movement. So I have no desire to successfully "prove" to you why grid is essential to classic faithfulness. That's entirely a matter of opinion and preference based on what you valued most in the classics. I've explained and emphasized why certain aspects of the grid system are important to us, but because you can't empathize with that, you can't understand why it would be important to us. And that's fine.
What the?

Shall we recap.

I have said several times now I am focussed on the strategy part. So I will start with that. But I will get back to the "can't empathize, can't understand" bit at the bottom, so if that's more important you might want to scroll down.

The arguments that you and the original guy have posted.
BTSuperFan wrote:The bottom line is the grid with teleporters, spinners etc.. Add a puzzle aspect to the games that cant be replicated with free motion. It adds an incredibly satisfying level of challenge, and if its taken out it will leave a very large hole that guts the game.
TheBruce wrote:Yes, but regardless, even if others had grid, it still made BT the experience that it was. As he said, take away the grid and many strategic elements are lost; gameplay mechanics will be much more 'modern' than 'classic'. A sequel will feel in that context more like the BT04 sequel than a BT Classic.
TheBruce wrote:A number of strategy components in the classic trilogy rely on the grid-based system.
Drool wrote:thebruce has a good point. One of the big obstacles in the originals were the tile-based traps, from HP or MP drain, to sticky tiles that you had to click several times to leave, to anti-magic tiles, to silent or dark tiles, to the dreaded spinners. And then, on top of that, the tiles that had multiple effects, like the death trap in the Catacombs that locked you in a 1x1 room with anti-magic, no teleport, -HP, and -MP. Or the tar pits in Tennebrosia that had -HP, sticky, and spinner (sticky spinners were the worst). There were also (rarely) +HP and +MP tiles, but those were few and far between.

Removing the grid kind of pulls the teeth from those traps and challenges. If nothing else, it seems it would make adding them much more complicated, since you couldn't just go, "Okay, x=12 y=11 is a spinner..." I'm not saying it couldn't be done, just that it seems like it would be a lot harder without a grid.
Drool actually gave some good examples here. I can't argue against some because having never experienced them I don't know them. But the concept of a tile based trap is not unusual, and as Drool admits, it would in theory be doable. More complicated but doable.
TheBruce wrote:This is why I said "a lot more has to change". So yes, "a number of strategy components in the classic trilogy rely on the grid-based system." If you take that away, of course they'd be replicated in some manner. But if the classic strategies are based on the 4-sided grid mechanic, then any "replication" would, by nature, not be the same. You can't "replicate" grid-based gameplay without a grid. You can only make a different game that promotes different strategies and content, and is at best only reminiscent in some way of classic grid strategies and content.
Then I specifically asked What elements?
Oh and Gizmo responded re LoG, which I stated I would not be sad to play BT in a similar format. (although I would rather a separated combat system. I am not a huge fan of that first person combat concept that EoB and LoG have)
TheBruce wrote:The point is that the mechanic adds a different style of strategy, which is not necessarily realistic, but which is fun (YMMV) for certain demographics.
TheBruce wrote:One of the strategies to the spinner element was that you were watching for differences in the maze ahead of you, often not knowing even then until you explore because something 'changed' (when really it's just a near-identical part of the maze). Often that exploration was met with traps. More often you didn't even know you hit a spinner until you found something 'change' as you continued on, because you had been mapping out the grid.
I questioned the above. Stating that this is an element of the graphics rather than the tile itself. Which you even mentioned in the same section.

You also state
TheBruce wrote:Spinner concept = completely different in free movement, both in strategy and in immersion.
Now I'm not even talking about the immersion side at this point. As I said it is different things to different people. And if that was the one and only reason, then Cool, no worries. I will even say that I liked the measured steps that occurred in the old SSI games that I played and am using as a basis for my imperfect understanding..
But you spoke about the strategy and I don't understand how it affects the strategy of the game, if the movement is "free" vs "grid". In theory the results are the same. Sure there is an element of variation in placement, but nothing that is not at least similar to being in a offset grid tile.
You will still be in exactly the same position when one of those traps hits whether you are in free or grid movement.
Because the action happens in "a point in time".

You also incidentally accused me of not caring about other peoples preferences. Which is really the exact opposite of what I am doing. I am trying to understand exactly what it is about the grid that made it so important. Not because I want to rip it down, but because I want to understand WHY. I find questions are the best way of getting answers.

You then said this
theBruce wrote:Woolfe wrote:
None of this would be impossible though? The only reason the dungeon "looked" the same was because of the reuse of textures etc. Which is not an element of the grid, but the graphics.

No, it was indeed the grid. The walls and doors had to match exactly. Being a grid, you had 1 of 4 directions to face. That meant designers only had to plan the appearance of walls and doors for 4 directions. If they wants you to be completely disoriented, they could make them each - the grid layout for each direction - appear identical.
Which I then said was not the case, because that is all graphics. The point of reference in a free movement may be in a different spot, but assuming that the graphics are indeed all identical, then it will still look the same no matter the point of reference you are at.

You then started on Analog and Digital and Meat space. Which aside from adding a layer of confusion are not exactly accurate either. Because even when it is assumed your group takes up the whole of the 10x10 tile. As other pointed out, because you have a formation and certain characters would be attacked based on where they were. Hence within that 10x10 tile you have "positions". Thus there is an inherent "meat space" that exists based on the tile.

You also get stuck into me over my immersion comments. To whit I explain myself better (because my flying fudge comment was clearly too strong) and pretty much agree with the sentiment behind your immersion comments if not the immersion comment itself.
Me Earlier wrote:Actually I would totally agree with you on that. And I am not trying to invalidate your opinions. I am trying to understand what "The Grid" is when you say it. Because that term means too much, and at the same time nothing. I am trying to dissect what it is that makes "The Grid" so important.
Oh I do slightly disagree with some of your comments on Free movement. But I think that is due to a fundamental difference in what we are talking about. Which is what I am trying to determine.
I also should point out that I am meaning from the technical/Gameplay point of view (hence strategies etc) the immersion element is not an argument I get into because it IS personal to everyone, and as such I can't comment on it, other than my own opinion.

So let me just say one more thing here. If I have offended you in anyway with my line of questions, it was not my intent, and I apologise. I am simply trying to understand something that I have not had the experience of, and thus have to equate to my own slightly different experiences.
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Re: Bard's Tale IV External News Thread

Post by thebruce » April 23rd, 2015, 8:42 am

Woolfe wrote: Assuming the party is in formation, which is exactly what these sort of games did, then it could still be replicated in a freer environment. This is what I am trying to get my head around. All of the "strategy" elements that are being suggested as reasons why it is important, are elements that can work in the Freer movement. Which suggests to me that either there is some other element that makes it so, or that ultimately it is just about someone's preference.
Of course it's about someone's preference.
Of course a translation to free can 'work'. Our point is that difference takes it away from the 'classic' feel. You continually say you're trying to understand. But it's a preference. You won't understand. And continually saying you want to but seeming to be unable to is why I keep saying - just understand that there are some of us who do prefer it, and that you can't understand is just fine.

Woolfe wrote:The arguments that you and the original guy have posted.
BTSuperFan wrote:The bottom line is the grid with teleporters, spinners etc.. Add a puzzle aspect to the games that cant be replicated with free motion. It adds an incredibly satisfying level of challenge, and if its taken out it will leave a very large hole that guts the game.
TheBruce wrote:Yes, but regardless, even if others had grid, it still made BT the experience that it was. As he said, take away the grid and many strategic elements are lost; gameplay mechanics will be much more 'modern' than 'classic'. A sequel will feel in that context more like the BT04 sequel than a BT Classic.
TheBruce wrote:A number of strategy components in the classic trilogy rely on the grid-based system.
Drool wrote:thebruce has a good point. One of the big obstacles in the originals were the tile-based traps, from HP or MP drain, to sticky tiles that you had to click several times to leave, to anti-magic tiles, to silent or dark tiles, to the dreaded spinners. And then, on top of that, the tiles that had multiple effects, like the death trap in the Catacombs that locked you in a 1x1 room with anti-magic, no teleport, -HP, and -MP. Or the tar pits in Tennebrosia that had -HP, sticky, and spinner (sticky spinners were the worst). There were also (rarely) +HP and +MP tiles, but those were few and far between.

Removing the grid kind of pulls the teeth from those traps and challenges. If nothing else, it seems it would make adding them much more complicated, since you couldn't just go, "Okay, x=12 y=11 is a spinner..." I'm not saying it couldn't be done, just that it seems like it would be a lot harder without a grid.
Drool actually gave some good examples here. I can't argue against some because having never experienced them I don't know them. But the concept of a tile based trap is not unusual, and as Drool admits, it would in theory be doable. More complicated but doable.
Yes, doable, translateable, but no longer faithful to the classic.
I'm not talking about 'walk into a zone get hit by a trap'. The intent of that is just about being hit by a trap. I'm talking about traps and navigational strategies that are specifically created around the grid-based structure of the map, spinners as an example. We already detailed out how spinners' and teleports' strategies relied on grid structure. Yes of course they can exist in a free environment, but gameplay strategy would be different, and the level design strategies would be enormously different in order to provide the same gameplay effects that a grid structure provides.

Woolfe wrote:
TheBruce wrote:This is why I said "a lot more has to change". So yes, "a number of strategy components in the classic trilogy rely on the grid-based system." If you take that away, of course they'd be replicated in some manner. But if the classic strategies are based on the 4-sided grid mechanic, then any "replication" would, by nature, not be the same. You can't "replicate" grid-based gameplay without a grid. You can only make a different game that promotes different strategies and content, and is at best only reminiscent in some way of classic grid strategies and content.
Then I specifically asked What elements?
Map layout. Some traps. Coordinates. Some puzzles. Graphics. Spacial awareness. This isn't about listing out numerous individual specific technical entities that need to be translated - as I've said the grid is a core element to the feel of the BT world. It's a fundamental mechanic that may directly influence certain elements. And if you look at the game, from a navigational and technical standpoint, there really aren't a whole lot of elements to the game design anyway - most of it is in level layout, with lots and lots of levels. The active dungeon crawling, lore and tidbits of information and interaction are generally not inherently affected by grid. And some of those will fall under what some people also consider core aspects to the classics that need to be retained in a faithful sequel. What the grid affects is your feel for how you are interacting with the environment. I like the analog immersion - not the realism. I like the grid mapping - not the automapping or complex free environments. I like the strategic aspect that the grid adds to certain elements of the environment.
A non-grid Bard's Tale I'm sure would still be great and fun, never denied that. But it would be much farther from a faithful sequel to the classic trilogy, in my and others' opinions, than a free-movement environment, because we feel the grid is an essential element to the classic trilogy.
And if you ask "But whyyyyyyyyyyy?" once again I'll punch ya :P

Woolfe wrote: Oh and Gizmo responded re LoG, which I stated I would not be sad to play BT in a similar format. (although I would rather a separated combat system. I am not a huge fan of that first person combat concept that EoB and LoG have)
I too would dislike first person combat or realtime combat. I like the 'Card'-style combat of the NPC/combat encounters.

Woolfe wrote:
TheBruce wrote:More often you didn't even know you hit a spinner until you found something 'change' as you continued on, because you had been mapping out the grid.
I questioned the above. Stating that this is an element of the graphics rather than the tile itself. Which you even mentioned in the same section.
I specifically described why it's necessarily reliant on grid and not graphics. Of course the display of your location uses graphics, but the appearance and structure of what you see (and how easy it is to fool the player) is because of the relative 'simplicity' of the grid map layout. You can change the graphics all you want, but walls are physical sizes in the window. You see the floor and ceiling. Walls, doors, spaces are always in the same places. Regardless of the wall texture, the structure of the grid map is paramount to the effect of the 4-direction spinner, or instantaneous transport, if the strategy on that specific square is to fool you into thinking you're somewhere you're not.
Woolfe wrote:
TheBruce wrote:Spinner concept = completely different in free movement, both in strategy and in immersion.
Now I'm not even talking about the immersion side at this point. As I said it is different things to different people. And if that was the one and only reason, then Cool, no worries.
Ok, that is one reason. So is that not then sufficient for a 'Cool, no worries'? :P
Woolfe wrote: But you spoke about the strategy and I don't understand how it affects the strategy of the game, if the movement is "free" vs "grid". In theory the results are the same.
But they're not. Grid is a structural component to map and certain tile effects. Translating to free movement environment necessarily means some strategy has to change, both in gameplay and level/puzzle design.

Would you build a grid-based map and still allow free movement? I said in my last comment that that could be your best argument for free movement, but it's still not something I'd prefer. Sure it would retain the grid-based map concern which addresses a bit of the point about grid as a whole, but free movement has other effects, one of which is immersion preference, which you ceded was "Cool, no worries". *phew* Another is how you depict 'spinning', also discussed.

Woolfe wrote: Sure there is an element of variation in placement, but nothing that is not at least similar to being in a offset grid tile.
You will still be in exactly the same position when one of those traps hits whether you are in free or grid movement.
Because the action happens in "a point in time".
Traps don't hit at just a 'point in time', thay're also 'any point you're standing in a polygon region of the map space facing any direction'. If that region is still grid-based tiles, then it's 'any point you're standing in a square tile region facing any direction' as opposed to 'tile center and facing one of four directions'.

Woolfe wrote:
TheBruce wrote: No, it was indeed the grid. The walls and doors had to match exactly. Being a grid, you had 1 of 4 directions to face. That meant designers only had to plan the appearance of walls and doors for 4 directions. If they wants you to be completely disoriented, they could make them each - the grid layout for each direction - appear identical.
Which I then said was not the case, because that is all graphics. The point of reference in a free movement may be in a different spot, but assuming that the graphics are indeed all identical, then it will still look the same no matter the point of reference you are at.
No, because the 'point of reference' in the grid system is the center of the tile. The walls are static sprites applied based on the grid layout for the squares ahead of you. That has nothing to do with the visual style of the wall textures.
The 'point of reference' in the free movement system produces a perspective from any point within the tile space with walls drawn at angles dependent on up to 180 degrees of horizontal visibility ahead of you.
Grid? Replicate the wall layout for the visible grid lines based on one of 4 viewing angles.
Free? You could copy the map poly data from one map location to another and try to mimick the polygon structure to the T, but you'd still have to lock the player location to one coordinate and one angle with identical map poly and texture layout in order to mask the fact that you've spun or been transported. And with spinning you'd have to not show any feasible 'spin' effect (which one might expect to see being in a meat-space environment as opposed to an analog one).
Once again, doable? Sure. Different? Yep.

Woolfe wrote: You then started on Analog and Digital and Meat space. Which aside from adding a layer of confusion are not exactly accurate either. Because even when it is assumed your group takes up the whole of the 10x10 tile. As other pointed out, because you have a formation and certain characters would be attacked based on where they were. Hence within that 10x10 tile you have "positions". Thus there is an inherent "meat space" that exists based on the tile.
Yep, I talked about that with the issue of the 4x99 berserkers on one 10x10' square.
When the space is analog, you don't think about how 'realistically' the space works out. It's imagination. That's part of the immersion factor.

Woolfe wrote: I also should point out that I am meaning from the technical/Gameplay point of view (hence strategies etc) the immersion element is not an argument I get into because it IS personal to everyone, and as such I can't comment on it, other than my own opinion.
From a preference standpoint, sure.
But say you're designing a board game; whether you decide to use square or hex grid or free movement on a board with dynamically shaped regions or no board at all and entire GM-spoken, you can certainly run studies to find an objective result that helps you decide which direction you'd like to go. Whether it's based on the demographic you want to appeal to, or a certain story you want to tell, or gameplay strategies you have in mind. There are objecive differences in gameplay and design between a grid-based system and a free-movement system. The type of immersion people feel is just one difference that can be taken into consideration.

Whether one prefers one style over another? I agree it's entirely subjective. Which is why I'm fine accepting that you don't like grid, and that you don't understand why we do. My only beef is that you think the differences between grid and free are merely technical and out of date. When clearly there are examples of gameplay differences - not just in BT - that inherently affect the style, feel, design, and strategies employed in a game.

Woolfe wrote: You also incidentally accused me of not caring about other peoples preferences. Which is really the exact opposite of what I am doing. I am trying to understand exactly what it is about the grid that made it so important. Not because I want to rip it down, but because I want to understand WHY. I find questions are the best way of getting answers.
We infer that you don't actually care, because we explain why we care, but you keep saying it's not enough. Constantly asking to understand why when we explain why comes off as though our opinions are unimportant. That's the problem. It's ok if you can't understand why. I personally don't care if you understand why, only that we do and our opinions have value, even if you don't agree. We get you don't care for the grid. That's fine. We get you don't understand why we do care. That's fine. But you're coming off like because you can't understand why that we don't have any valid points. That's the problem.

Woolfe wrote: So let me just say one more thing here. If I have offended you in anyway with my line of questions, it was not my intent, and I apologise. I am simply trying to understand something that I have not had the experience of, and thus have to equate to my own slightly different experiences.
Oh i'm not offended :) just a little frustrated sometimes, and when I get frustrated in forums I get wordy and stubborn :P :lol:
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 23rd, 2015, 11:23 am

I haven't followed the whole thread, just looked at the last few posts.

What I don't understand here is why spinners, teleporters, and traps somehow can only work in a grid environment. If you're walking down a corridor at an 81° angle to true north, and approach a 4-way intersection, and hit it 14% off center to the left, a "spinner" could turn you so that you were now at 171° to true north, and 14% off center of your new facing. Traps based on a tile still work if your party sets foot anywhere on that tile. Teleporters can still send you to similar looking hallways in exactly the same relative position to the previous hallway. Wizardry 8 has stuff like this without using grid-based movement.

The only valid argument I see is "We want it to feel clunky and restricted like the old games." That's fine and you're welcome to your tastes ... but personally I don't see it as a sufficient reason to make a game that way in the 21st century.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » April 23rd, 2015, 11:35 am

Zombra wrote:What I don't understand here is why spinners, teleporters, and traps somehow can only work in a grid environment.
No one said that.

The only valid argument I see is "We want it to feel clunky and restricted like the old games."
No one said that. Don't put words in our mouth.
We do not want "clunky and restricted".
We like grid-based navigation for the same reason there are varieties of video and board games ranging anywhere from square grid structures to free movement.
It is your opinion that grid is clunky and restrictive, but the fact is that it is a style of strategic gameplay that is not unique to Bard's Tale. It is a style of game that you don't like. That's just fine.
Stop spewing inflamatory comments about styles of gameplay you don't like.
Just agree that you don't like it, understand and accept that we do.
That's fine and you're welcome to your tastes ... but personally I don't see it as a sufficient reason to make a game that way in the 21st century.
I see it as a perfectly valid way to make a game in the 21st century. You just don't want a game like that.

Phrase disagreement like that, and I'll be content. :ugeek:
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 23rd, 2015, 1:07 pm

thebruce wrote:The fact is that it is a style of strategic gameplay
OK, then explain to me why that gameplay requires a grid. Like I said, I didn't see the whole thread, just the last couple posts where it was posited that the grid is necessary for teleporters, traps, and spinners. Since we've established that the grid is not necessary for teleporters, traps, or spinners, we can leave them out of the discussion moving forward.

So what strategic elements are grid-necessary?
You just don't want a game like that.
Phrase disagreement like that, and I'll be content. :ugeek:
What part of "personally I don't see it" did you not understand? Do I have to put a disclaimer in every sentence?
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » April 23rd, 2015, 1:48 pm

Zombra wrote:
thebruce wrote:The fact is that it is a style of strategic gameplay
OK, then explain to me why that gameplay requires a grid. Like I said, I didn't see the whole thread, just the last couple posts where it was posited that the grid is necessary for teleporters, traps, and spinners. Since we've established that the grid is not necessary for teleporters, traps, or spinners, we can leave them out of the discussion moving forward.
No, again, that's not what was said. Maybe you should read more (not that it'll change your mind or anything).
You just don't want a game like that.
Phrase disagreement like that, and I'll be content. :ugeek:
What part of "personally I don't see it" did you not understand? Do I have to put a disclaimer in every sentence?
I'm not bothered by you not understanding why we want it, or that you don't want it.

So how about you include my entire sentiment in the quote:
thebruce wrote:I see it as a perfectly valid way to make a game in the 21st century. You just don't want a game like that.
What you said was:
Zombra wrote:I don't see it as a sufficient reason to make a game that way in the 21st century.
That is not the same thing.

Like I said, my beef was not that you don't like grid-based games (both of you I suppose), but that your dislike for it is being expressed as if somehow grid-based structure is merely a low-tech, outdated concept that has nothing going for it but being out of date and old school. I've refuted that.

You don't want a grid-based BT4. That's just fine.

We do want a grid-based BT4. And not because it's a holdover from "the 20th century". It's a different style of gameplay which follows the classic trilogy and is still in existence in current, "21st century" games.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » April 23rd, 2015, 2:57 pm

Zombra wrote:
thebruce wrote:The fact is that it is a style of strategic gameplay
OK, then explain to me why that gameplay requires a grid. Like I said, I didn't see the whole thread, just the last couple posts where it was posited that the grid is necessary for teleporters, traps, and spinners. Since we've established that the grid is not necessary for teleporters, traps, or spinners, we can leave them out of the discussion moving forward.

So what strategic elements are grid-necessary?
You just don't want a game like that.
Phrase disagreement like that, and I'll be content. :ugeek:
What part of "personally I don't see it" did you not understand? Do I have to put a disclaimer in every sentence?
Hypothetically... How do you explain television to someone that doesn't know of electricity?

There are platformers that have not only unrealistically high jumping, but in some cases ~double jumping, jumping just a bit higher from mid jump; and even controlled landings, that allow for easing to the left or right on the way down. [both impossible]

Could these games be done without these unrealistic mechanics? sure; but they aren't going to be better for it.

Grimrock is a dungeoncrawler; have you played dungeoncrawlers before? Unless I've misread the above posts [possible], the suggestion is that a trap activates upon entering the cell, regardless of grid or free movement. That will confuse. If there were a beartrap in the center of the tile, and players could walk around it ~it would still snap shut and damage them.

Then there are the pits in the floor. These pits are logical barriers that usually influence the available pathways...
A scene like this is meant to be impassible; not carefully inched across on the side.
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*Yes, it is possible to have the pits without a cross beams, but that is beside the point of the example.

Myself, I'd be quite disappointed in an official Bard's Tale 4 that was not grid based; though I'd be fine with a
"The Bard's Tale 2" that was free roam isometric [3D]. Different game series, different styles.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 23rd, 2015, 4:15 pm

Cutting through all the complaints about how I posted bad things ...
thebruce wrote:We do want a grid-based BT4. And not because it's a holdover from "the 20th century". It's a different style of gameplay which follows the classic trilogy and is still in existence in current, "21st century" games.
So what is that gameplay style? What "strategic" elements does it possess that make a grid necessary? What non-cosmetic value? What about it besides "that old feelin'"?

Like I said, "that old feelin'" is a valid reason to like grids ... I just want to establish whether or not that's all it has going for it. So far, it looks like that's it.
Gizmo wrote:Unless I've misread the above posts [possible], the suggestion is that a trap activates upon entering the cell, regardless of grid or free movement. That will confuse. If there were a beartrap in the center of the tile, and players could walk around it ~it would still snap shut and damage them.

Then there are the pits in the floor. These pits are logical barriers that usually influence the available pathways...
A scene like this is meant to be impassible; not carefully inched across on the side. [pic]

*Yes, it is possible to have the pits without a cross beams, but that is beside the point of the example.
... I think it's quite to the point. If the designer wants a trap that fills an entire 10' x 10' area, the art team can make something that fills that whole area. Laughably traversable cross beams over pits and tiny bear traps that are perfectly visible but somehow impossible to step around are not good defenses for grid gameplay. Essentially it's defense of nonsense cosmetics for the sake of nonsense cosmetics. Pits and traps can be easily done without a grid, the art can make sense, the party can be prevented from stepping wherever the level designer doesn't want them to step. Absolutely none of this requires a grid.

I appreciate the example of the platformer where jumping 20' doesn't make sense but is necessary for gameplay ... but nothing I've seen here makes the grid necessary for gameplay.

Now, if you like counterintuitive nonsense like this for its own sake, that's a valid reason to support grids - but again, in my opinion it's not only a poor selling point, it's a detriment.

And yes, of course I've played old Wizardry games, Might & Magic, Bard's Tale, Dungeon Master, you name it. I've also played Wizardry 8 ... have you? ... and it didn't do any damage to the first-person formula at all in my opinion. It just unlocked the camera and made me feel more like I was really there. Nothing was lost (except maybe "that clunky old school feelin'") and much was gained.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » April 23rd, 2015, 5:30 pm

Zombra wrote:
Gizmo wrote:*Yes, it is possible to have the pits without a cross beams, but that is beside the point of the example.
... I think it's quite to the point. If the designer wants a trap that fills an entire 10' x 10' area, the art team can make something that fills that whole area.
But it's not, and this is why I first mentioned the hypothetical television. :|

Do you know what the Brawndo argument is?
It's this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vw2CrY9Igs

And while it has nothing to do with this discussion, nor any semblance to the parties discussing this; it does show that at least one side (if not both) refuse to accept the honest answers, because they contradict what they believe is sensible, even though they are asking for the unknown reasons.

Point: These kinds of games are not supposed to have non-grid movement, and I strongly suspect that the inclusion of free movement in a few ~of the last ones (I should mention), before Grimrock (who also doesn't allow it)... was to scrape a few buyers off of the FPS games that were coming into their own at the time.
Laughably traversable cross beams over pits and tiny bear traps that are perfectly visible but somehow impossible to step around are not good defenses for grid gameplay....
What else can be said? If this were the 1200's, we'd be laughed at [or murdered] for saying the world was round, and the Earth not the center of the universe. You won't accept answers that you don't want to accept. Part of the acceptance, is that maybe you don't like dungeoncrawlers.

I don't think I've played Wizardy #8; though I have seen videos of it, and IIRC, I did like the idea that PC stat checks could spawn items not visible previously. That should be a hint about the abstracted nature of these games... That you don't see it until the PC sees it. Ideally these games play like a D&D/board game/puzzle game. What you see in the game should be akin to what a DM would have described to you over a table, and their dice shield.

ie. "You move forward 10 feet; the hall is red brick, with bits of moss growing on the condensation from the dripping sewer water in the streets high above. After searching you find a hidden button on the Western wall. You cannot go forward, there are pits that block your path; you must find another way. Pressing the hidden button, you hear one of the pits close, and lock itself with a mechanical ~clink~. You can now make it across to the other side of the room [40 feet], and see a door on the Eastern wall, with an ornate key hole next to it. The door is locked."

Several dungeoncrawlers did have the PC notice fake walls and hidden doors; though (sadly) I don't recall any of them not spawning secret buttons until a PC makes a stat check for it. There is a practical limit somewhere, an unwritten rule that things like that be obvious, but easy to miss, rather than realistically hidden. Finding a secret button is ideally an exercise in spotting a difference; and not one of scrutinizing every crack of the wall for loose bricks. These games are not supposed to be hyper realistic. Believe it or not, realism becomes tiresome in certain kinds of gaming.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 23rd, 2015, 6:31 pm

I'm perfectly happy to accept an honest answer in favor of the grid ... your answer seems to be "We like it because we like it", or "We like it because old games look that way". These answers are valid and I accept them as such. But I still see no gameplay value to having it be that way. If there is no gameplay value to the grid, i.e. player actions that can only be taken on a grid, enemy movements that can only happen on a grid, environmental effects that can only happen on a grid, etc., then be honest and accept that these things can also happen off a grid. I can't see the grid as anything but a cosmetic choice that limits gameplay and (in my opinion) reduces immersion.

And the idea that I must hate dungeon crawlers because I think the grid is outdated is silly. I love dungeon crawlers. I just don't see any reason for them to be on a grid except "because that's how certain other games have been". Heads up: Wizardry 8 is a dungeon crawler, but it is not grid locked.

As I've said elsewhere, 90° turns were never a gameplay feature. Back in the days of these games, you didn't run to your friends and go, "You have to see this game! The camera perspective is like it's really there! And the best part is that you can only make 90° turns!" I get nostalgia, I get it, I do. I maintain that nostalgia is insufficient as the sole reason to limit gameplay.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Drool » April 23rd, 2015, 8:20 pm

Zombra wrote:I get nostalgia, I get it, I do. I maintain that nostalgia is insufficient as the sole reason to limit gameplay.
Like I mentioned elsewhere, part of the reason I've dug my heels on this is because I'm going to fight every difference tooth and nail. I feel that there were way too many changes from the source in WL2 (mechanics, story, style, everything), so I'm not going to willingly give up an inch of proverbial land without a fight.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » April 23rd, 2015, 9:12 pm

Zombra wrote:I'm perfectly happy to accept an honest answer in favor of the grid ... your answer seems to be "We like it because we like it", or "We like it because old games look that way". These answers are valid and I accept them as such.
You accept them as valid answers that don't qualify to you as anything but opposite [discardable] opinion. :(
But I still see no gameplay value to having it be that way.

If there is no gameplay value to the grid, i.e. player actions that can only be taken on a grid, enemy movements that can only happen on a grid, environmental effects that can only happen on a grid, etc., then be honest and accept that these things can also happen off a grid. I can't see the grid as anything but a cosmetic choice that limits gameplay and (in my opinion) reduces immersion.
You've already been given some reasons, and you ignore them, or don't understand them. More would help? I don't think so.
And the idea that I must hate dungeon crawlers because I think the grid is outdated is silly. I love dungeon crawlers.
Just as there are millions that love the Fallout series and never played the games... they love FO3; they love the TES series by a different name. :mrgreen:
As I've said elsewhere, 90° turns were never a gameplay feature. Back in the days of these games, you didn't run to your friends and go, "You have to see this game! The camera perspective is like it's really there! And the best part is that you can only make 90° turns!" I get nostalgia, I get it, I do. I maintain that nostalgia is insufficient as the sole reason to limit gameplay.
This is derisive hyperbole :D , and of course it's not nostalgia. Heads up, it never is with the kind on these forums. People explaining this kind of a point likely have these games installed... There are no tinted glasses for those that can run the game at a click. No embellished memories, or fond misconceptions here.

Limiting gameplay is part of the point. ;) This was explained in the earlier posts.

**I'll give you a quick example from LoG2. In LoG2, you can descend downward, but not upward. This is deliberate mechanics. It ignores that you have four people, and that four people can climb a small embankment, and pull each other up. They are not supposed to; they are supposed to be restricted to ascent via ladders or teleporters ~if they exist on the map; if they don't ~tough.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 24th, 2015, 1:50 am

Gizmo wrote:
Zombra wrote:I'm perfectly happy to accept an honest answer in favor of the grid ... your answer seems to be "We like it because we like it", or "We like it because old games look that way". These answers are valid and I accept them as such.
You accept them as valid answers that don't qualify to you as anything but opposite [discardable] opinion. :(
Yes, sorry. I'm looking for valid answers that are nondiscardable. I am not yet aware of any.
You've already been given some reasons, and you ignore them, or don't understand them. More would help? I don't think so.
I don't need more; maybe I just need to have the ones already presented to be rephrased so I can understand them. Honest, I'm trying to get it.
And the idea that I must hate dungeon crawlers because I think the grid is outdated is silly. I love dungeon crawlers.
Just as there are millions that love the Fallout series and never played the games... they love FO3; they love the TES series by a different name. :mrgreen:
Ech. Again. I played M&M, pretty much the whole series. Several Wizardry entries. Bard's Tale. Dungeon Master 1 and 2. I have played and enjoyed many grid-based games. I have played and enjoyed many grid-based games. I have played and enjoyed many grid-based games.
As I've said elsewhere, 90° turns were never a gameplay feature. Back in the days of these games, you didn't run to your friends and go, "You have to see this game! The camera perspective is like it's really there! And the best part is that you can only make 90° turns!" I get nostalgia, I get it, I do. I maintain that nostalgia is insufficient as the sole reason to limit gameplay.
This is derisive hyperbole :D , and of course it's not nostalgia. Heads up, it never is with the kind on these forums. People explaining this kind of a point likely have these games installed... There are no tinted glasses for those that can run the game at a click. No embellished memories, or fond misconceptions here.
If nostalgia means blurred memories, than I apologize. I simply mean it in the sense of loving something from the past. I get that you can love an old game - I can't get that its cosmetic limitations make it superior.
Limiting gameplay is part of the point. ;) This was explained in the earlier posts.
I missed it. If you could just link to an earlier post, I will revisit it.
**I'll give you a quick example from LoG2. In LoG2, you can descend downward, but not upward. This is deliberate mechanics. It ignores that you have four people, and that four people can climb a small embankment, and pull each other up. They are not supposed to; they are supposed to be restricted to ascent via ladders or teleporters ~if they exist on the map; if they don't ~tough.
Sure, that makes sense. It's not "realistic", but as we have shown, gameplay does not have to be realistic to be superior. We've agreed on that already.

What I could use here is a similar gameplay example that requires a grid-based format.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » April 24th, 2015, 6:55 am

"I'm looking for valid answers that are nondiscardable. I am not yet aware of any."

So we've given you valid answers that are discardable? You've set the terms in your mind for what is 'valid' and what is 'discardable'. Our 'valid' answers are to you discardable.

"Honest, I'm trying to get it."

I don't think you are. And if you don't get it, that's fine. If our reasoning is valid, great. Don't say they're discardable. They're not.

"What I could use here is a similar gameplay example that requires a grid-based format."

We've explained plenty, both of strategy examples bound to BT's grid, and other games both digital and board that make use of grid, but you've discarded them. So, what else is there to say.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » April 24th, 2015, 8:29 am

thebruce wrote:So we've given you valid answers that are discardable? You've set the terms in your mind for what is 'valid' and what is 'discardable'. Our 'valid' answers are to you discardable.
Gizmo's words, not mine. When he's right, he's right :)
I don't think you are. And if you don't get it, that's fine. If our reasoning is valid, great. Don't say they're discardable. They're not.
These reasons ("I like how it looks") aren't a matter of "reasoning"; they're a matter of taste. I accept them as valid, because an opinion can't be wrong, but they're not factual nor design-related. They're cosmetic. Grids look cool to you guys. That's it.
"What I could use here is a similar gameplay example that requires a grid-based format."
We've explained plenty, both of strategy examples bound to BT's grid, and other games both digital and board that make use of grid, but you've discarded them. So, what else is there to say.
For god's sake then man, name one.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » April 24th, 2015, 8:41 am

Zombra wrote:These reasons ("I like how it looks") aren't a matter of "reasoning"; they're a matter of taste. I accept them as valid, because an opinion can't be wrong, but they're not factual nor design-related.
If you can't see the factual design-related differences between a grid environment and a free movement environment (NOT that things can be 'translated' from one to another), then there's no hope to satisfy your demand for valid and non-discardable points.
As for taste, that is the point. Our taste is for all that is tied to and necessarily comes with the classic trilogy grid-based environment. That's it.
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