Rockbox Technical Forums

Rockbox Development => Feature Ideas => Topic started by: Jason Arthur Taylor on December 28, 2009, 07:33:52 PM

Title: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: Jason Arthur Taylor on December 28, 2009, 07:33:52 PM
http://www.dosgames.com/g_rpg.php
http://www.dosgames.com/screens/rogue.gif


Why no games like this on the rockbox?????  Seems perfect since there is no typing required usually.  Just up down left right and the you need to select like a potion to use on the monster and the direction to cast the spell, etc.  Seems like it would be a simple select button that would pop up a keyboard-like option menu.  How much work is it to do a port from borland c++ to arm?  I gotta a sansa clip.  Just guessing it is an arm cpu though.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: saratoga on December 28, 2009, 07:42:41 PM
If the source is available under suitable license, probably not too difficult.  I'd guess the problem is lack of interest. 
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: GodEater on December 29, 2009, 02:52:48 AM
How much work is it to do a port from borland c++ to arm?

This question is entirely irrelevant, since nethack is written in C, not C++.

This is good news - since getting C++ code to compile and run with Rockbox is something no-one has worked on ever. This doesn't mean it'll be easy though.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on December 29, 2009, 11:10:24 AM
Nethack has something in the region of 100 commands, how are you going to map them? It's not just up/down/left/right, pretty much every key on the keyboard is used, with and without shift, then some more with alt...
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: GodEater on December 29, 2009, 11:42:18 AM
...and actual typed commands you access from the '#' prompt.

It would be a pretty hectic menu system to cope with all that.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on December 29, 2009, 05:49:17 PM
Having said that there do exist ports of Nethack to shockingly constrained systems, but they are mostly very hard to play.

Powder (http://www.zincland.com/powder/) is a roguelike under a Creative Commons licence which is designed for input-constrained systems such as the GBA and PSP, this might be possible to port but while open source it is not compatible with the Rockbox license.

My still work-in-progress Frotz port (Z-machine text adventures) implements a primitive buffered TTY-like display for Frotz's benefit; this code would probably be useful to anyone who wanted to port text mode games, though its API is not much like curses. I am considering expanding it and making it more curseslike for general use :)
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: saratoga on December 29, 2009, 06:05:16 PM
Are there any GPL versions of nethack?  The ports I've seen all have some weird non-GPL license, and wiki says the original is also under that license, so unless someone has rewritten it from scratch I doubt any ports are GPL.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: Jason Arthur Taylor on December 29, 2009, 10:20:34 PM
Code: [Select]
C:\>grep -i shareware "Role Playing Games_ Nethack, Rogue, Unreal World, and many more!.htm" | wc & grep -i freeware "Role Playing Games_ Nethack, Rogue, Unreal World, and many more!.htm" | wc
     14     236    3372
     20     248    4409
C:\>expr 20 * 100 / ( 14 + 20 )
58

In english=58% of those RPG dos games are freeware.  Freeware != GPL, but isn't it close? Like, dude, send an email to a randomly picked author and code will be sitting in the inbox my morning.  I'd put $$ on it.  And maybe a bounty, but not much.

This thread reminds me to ask the obvious or too stupid to ask quesiton (not sure which it is, but at least this is off topic): where is the x86 arm dos emulator plugin?  Did transmeta's stench smoke them out?  640kb is dos max, so should run on most of these boxes, no?  Sort of like putting 1950 hemi engine inside a yugo.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: saratoga on December 29, 2009, 10:25:05 PM
Freeware != GPL, but isn't it close?

No thats not how licensing works.  All rockbox code must be under a GPL compatible license.  If its free but not GPL you cannot use it in Rockbox. 
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: [Saint] on December 29, 2009, 11:47:31 PM
If its free but not GPL you cannot use it in Rockbox. 

Well....it couldn't be included in any official build of Rockbox, but it could be used, just not "legally".
What the end user does is their business, but Rockbox certainly isn't going to get involved in any legal disputes over licensing for using code that is non GPL.

In theory, (if anyone wanted to take the risk) there's nothing to stop anyone from porting non GPL code for use with Rockbox and uploading it somewhere....but the Rockbox Team certainly won't do it.


Basically, it can be done, just not "legally"....but what anyone wants to get up to in their own time is their business I guess  ;)
I probably couldn't say that I wouldn't use it if someone did manage to port one of these games, but I wouldn't make a huge song and dance about doing so...



Anyway....a HUGE issue would be the keyboard I'd say, as the virtual keyboard currently has no shift or alt input.


[St.]
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: saratoga on December 29, 2009, 11:55:53 PM
Basically, it can be done, just not "legally"....but what anyone wants to get up to in their own time is their business I guess  ;)
I probably couldn't say that I wouldn't use it if someone did manage to port one of these games, but I wouldn't make a huge song and dance about doing so...

If you're going to violate our licenses, I suggest you not tell everyone about it if you would like to continue to participate on this website.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: [Saint] on December 30, 2009, 12:09:07 AM
Whoa, I think you took that wrong, while I did say there's nothing "theoretically" stopping anyone from doing so (due to free will), I never said I'd done so, and pointed out particularly that violating a non GPL license is not something that Rockbox would get involved in.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: Llorean on December 30, 2009, 12:20:51 AM
No, but the part he quoted where you said
Quote
I probably couldn't say that I wouldn't use it if someone did manage to port one of these games, but I wouldn't make a huge song and dance about doing so...
says you almost certainly would do so if the opportunity would arise.

Generally speaking we ask people to actively and strongly discourage license violations. The GPL is one of the things that makes open source strong and it require respect of the license from both sides.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: saratoga on December 30, 2009, 12:23:38 AM
Whoa, I think you took that wrong,

No I did not.  
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: [Saint] on December 30, 2009, 12:58:20 AM
Yeah, sorry, I see the point.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on December 30, 2009, 07:31:21 AM
This thread reminds me to ask the obvious or too stupid to ask quesiton (not sure which it is, but at least this is off topic): where is the x86 arm dos emulator plugin?  Did transmeta's stench smoke them out?  640kb is dos max, so should run on most of these boxes, no?  Sort of like putting 1950 hemi engine inside a yugo.
1) x86 is very hard to emulate, both in terms of writing the code (though we could get this from somewhere else) and in terms of overhead at runtime (it's very slow).
2) DOS is not limited to 640KB... only the 8088/8086 was. Most DOS games (except truly spectacularly old ones) will expect extended/expanded memory.
3) Your DAP has a keyboard, I assume? :)
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: [Saint] on January 01, 2010, 04:38:14 AM
I can remember playing Rogue on my Amstrad 64 (...with tape drive  ;))

If the virtual keyboard were "suped up" a bit to include shift+ and alt+ combinations it'd be a little easier to pull something like that off.

Not sure how "click wheel" targets would implement that though...

What's the minimum amount of buttons a rockbox target has currently?

Game inputs could be handled by using a "context menu" styled list of possible inputs for the situation.

Perhaps like:

Movement (forward, back, left, right, investigate*, open*, use*, etc. etc.)
Inventory
Spells etc

*things like this would need to call their own submenus (investigate X, Y, Z - Use X, Y, Z)

With a "story viewport" in either the top or bottom half of the screen displaying text outputs from the game:

You encountered a "whatever"
You take X damage
You inflict X damage
You see a "whatever"
You cast "whatever spell"

I'm no coder, but I'm guessing that something like this would be a real "labour of love" to build from scratch right?

I'd really love to see a text based RPG for Rockbox...


[St.]
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on January 01, 2010, 06:25:49 AM
The original rogue had way less commands than nethack. :)

The minimum number of buttons is one, or possibly zero? The touchscreen targets ;)

Someone could certainly *write* a text based RPG for rockbox; but porting an existing one which expects far more comprehensive input is probably not the best way.

In fact, this is one of my intentions for the Frotz port I am doing; once the interpreter is ported I intend to experiment with various Inform libraries which can provide menus and other less demanding input options, and make this available in a convenient form for people to write text-based games in Inform.
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on January 02, 2010, 08:18:01 AM
There is in fact a version of Rogue ported to the Z-Machine, which should run on my port of Frotz. :)

The controls are hideous, of course; I currently depend on the virtual keyboard, even for single character input, so it'd be unplayable. I've not tested it, either, but the only significant limitation of the Frotz port is the screen size being smaller than some Z-Machine games expect so it should probably work.

I am nearly done with the initial version of the Frotz port, so hopefully I'll be committing it soonish and you can try. Better options for key mapping will come later :)
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: Jason Arthur Taylor on January 02, 2010, 01:15:30 PM
Quote
I am nearly done with the initial version of the Frotz port, so hopefully I'll be committing it soonish and you can try. Better options for key mapping will come later
Cool.  Looking forward to trying it out.

My sansa clip has 10 buttons.  Key combinations give infinite.  I'd say the best combination method is spoked radial selector that does NOT replace previous image (unlike the text editor), just overlays, like below, but with fewer (only 4) directional options.  If simultaneous keypresses can be detected you have even more.  We only have 10 fingers you know.  The fastest (non qwerty) keyboards actually have just 10-20 keys or so as I recall.  All of the consoles for the past 15 years up until I think the 360 are based on 4-way joypads, just like we have on a sansa or MS smartphone.
(http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/865/865541/mass-effect-20080409030808797-000.jpg)
Like:
    A
    |
B--+--C
    |
    D
XORed and overlayed onto previous image for ~2 seconds or until right left up or down is pressed.
Here is another example:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3428/3798874078_8a134edfb9.jpg)
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: torne on January 02, 2010, 02:41:42 PM
There is no possibility of having context sensitivity in a traditional roguelike, though. How are you going to arrange a radial menu so that 100+ commands are sensibly accessible? Your Clip has 10 buttons but how many combinations can you actually remember? How many are remotely plausible without having to do unnatural things with your hands? Chording keyboards are designed to conform to the hand(s) for all keys to be pressable in any combination mp3 players are not, and it's difficult enough to learn to use something that *is* designed for this :)
Title: Re: Where are the old dos-like RPG games? Can you say rogue? Nethack?
Post by: Strife89 on January 06, 2010, 04:57:04 PM
iRogue is GPLed and has relatively few commands. Probably would be a pain to try and port, so I'm practically tossing this out there.

http://roguelike-palm.sourceforge.net/iRogue/