YANI: Sokoban improvement

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I thought I had posted this to the recent Sokoban thread, but it seems
that I was mistaken. No matter, this gives me the chance to start a
thread on the issue.

My idea is a simple way to make the Sokoban quest dungeon more
interesting without adding large numbers of additional puzzles. It
should be possible using the current level builder, though a
modification to allow more random placements might help it greatly. In
this post, "sokoban," without a capital letter, refers to the game in
general, which exists outside of Nethack. Sokoban, with a capital
letter, is the Nethack dungeon branch itself.

People in the other thread were complaining about the low number of
puzzles, how they had them all memorized by now. Others responded that
if there were more puzzles it would be just a matter of time before
they were memorized too. Personally, I think each additional puzzle
adds marginally more difficulty than the last, but I recognize the
underlying idea behind both these arguments: that we're trying to
reward general sokoban play more than rote memorization. Though
memorization gives players who cannot/don't want to learn to solve
sokoban puzzles another way to get the reward.

One interesting attribute of sokoban puzzles is that they are never
made harder or impossible by removing boxes.* Also, the difficulty in
a sokoban puzzle tends to arise from a small number of "key" boxes --
if it's possible to solve a box right away, then it always in the
player's best interest to do so.** But there are certain boxes that
make removing others harder. Thus, removing a box from the puzzle
that's near the goal area and ready to be solved from the start has a
negligable effect on difficulty, but removing one of those "bottleneck"
boxes can make the puzzle substantially easier, or at least different.

Thus, I propose this adding additional sokoban puzzles to the game,
based on real-life puzzles. These puzzles should ideally be very
difficult, but we won't be using them unchanged. Instead, we'd use the
random positioning keyword in the level builder to "remove" bottleneck
boulders from the level upon generation. More accurately, we'd not
include those specific boulders in the level template, but instead
place them randomly among the bottleneck locations when the level is
generated.

This method would not be immune to memorization, but again that's not
necessarily a bad thing. It would give the game a lot more play value
out of a single puzzle, with only a small amount of extra work.

Whattdyathink?

- John H.


* This is only true if one removes one "goal" space for each box
removed, but that's okay here, we'd just include fewer pits in front of
the exit.
** There are some "real-world" sokoban puzzles for which this may not
be true, puzzles that rely on moving boxes off of goal spaces. These
do not apply here, since solved boulders in Nethack Sokoban "vanish"
from the playfield.
 
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Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

> Not entirely true, but true on the current Sokoban levels.
>
> The boxes may be divided in two groups, and the goal spaces as well.
The
> removal of a box from one group and a hole from the other half of the
> playing field would still render the puzzle unsolvable.

But then what we would have, conceptually, is two separate puzzles.
Which I suppose is confusing "sokoban" with "Sokoban," but....

This would only be important to this YANI if they later added such dual
puzzles, which I think would be difficult to implement for other
reasons anyway. If there were to have that kind of puzzle, then the
puzzle design would have to take it into account: each set of boulder
possibilities would have to come from only one of the sub-puzzles.

- John H.
 
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John H. wrote:
> [ideas to make Sokoban harder]


I hate Sokoban. I only do it to get the loot, and only then by staring
at a spoiler. If it were any harder (read: more annoying), I wouldn't
do it at all.

I play Nethack for dungeon slashing, etc, not for an all-but-unrelated
puzzle game. If this were implemented, I suspect it would change the
number of players who do Sokoban from "some" to "few".
 
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On 7 Mar 2005 10:46:19 -0800, micromoog wrote:

> John H. wrote:
>> [ideas to make Sokoban harder]
>
>
> I hate Sokoban. I only do it to get the loot, and only then by staring
> at a spoiler. If it were any harder (read: more annoying), I wouldn't
> do it at all.

That sounds fine; it appears that the small amount of loot that shows up at
the top is not a sufficient motive for you. Thus making Sokoban harder
will not decrease Nethack's value for you significantly.

> I play Nethack for dungeon slashing, etc, not for an all-but-unrelated
> puzzle game. If this were implemented, I suspect it would change the
> number of players who do Sokoban from "some" to "few".

Instinctually I want to disagree with you on this. I have no proof, but I
think that a fair number of people who prefer Nethack to, say, Angband, are
drawn by its quirky character, which includes the "by Thoth, everything
INCLUDING kitchen sinks is in here!" effect.
 
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John H. wrote:

> One interesting attribute of sokoban puzzles is that they are never
> made harder or impossible by removing boxes.*
> * This is only true if one removes one "goal" space for each box
> removed, but that's okay here, we'd just include fewer pits in front
> of the exit.

Not entirely true, but true on the current Sokoban levels.

The boxes may be divided in two groups, and the goal spaces as well. The
removal of a box from one group and a hole from the other half of the
playing field would still render the puzzle unsolvable.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
 
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Ross Presser <rpresser@imtek.com> carefully considered, then mistyped:
> On 7 Mar 2005 10:46:19 -0800, micromoog wrote:
>> John H. wrote:
>>> [ideas to make Sokoban harder]
>> I hate Sokoban. I only do it to get the loot, and only then by staring
>> at a spoiler. If it were any harder (read: more annoying), I wouldn't
>> do it at all.
> That sounds fine; it appears that the small amount of loot that shows up at
> the top is not a sufficient motive for you. Thus making Sokoban harder
> will not decrease Nethack's value for you significantly.
>> I play Nethack for dungeon slashing, etc, not for an all-but-unrelated
>> puzzle game. If this were implemented, I suspect it would change the
>> number of players who do Sokoban from "some" to "few".
> Instinctually I want to disagree with you on this. I have no proof, but I
> think that a fair number of people who prefer Nethack to, say, Angband, are
> drawn by its quirky character, which includes the "by Thoth, everything
> INCLUDING kitchen sinks is in here!" effect.

I was thinking about this; I like Sokoban, but then I can see why people would
hate it. What if there was some sort of difficulty option for people who
don't like it much, or want a watered down version?

It could work like this: level 1 of Sokoban has 2(or more) solutions, which
lead to different stairs. Once one of the stairs is selected, the others
close off. Based on which stairs you go up, you get an easier version of
sokoban. It would need to be clear before you start which stair is which,
and how to communicate it to an unspoiled player would be important. Also,
easy Soko would want smaller prizes than hard Soko. Maybe (random ideas
without much thought) fewer of everything (or most things) and guaranteed
....oilskin sack or ...amulet of unchanging.

<thinking more>

Well...idea thrown. Have at.

carl
--
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Research Scientist: GTRI/ITTL/CSITD
On a scale of One to Awesome, I'm Super Great. -SB
 
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carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu writes:
> It could work like this: level 1 of Sokoban has 2(or more) solutions, which
> lead to different stairs. Once one of the stairs is selected, the others
> close off. Based on which stairs you go up, you get an easier version of
> sokoban. It would need to be clear before you start which stair is which,
> and how to communicate it to an unspoiled player would be important. Also,
> easy Soko would want smaller prizes than hard Soko.

Harder Soko (and/or Soko which isn't trivialized by recourse to the
appropriarte spoiler) led me to think:

Hmm, how hard would it be to algorithmically generate pseudorandom,
solvable Sokoban (F NetHack Sokoban Rules VO "solvable") levels? Pretty
hard, especially if you want to require that the algorithm be able to
potentially emit _any_ of the universe of solvable levels.

But: It's _harder_ Soko (with big prizes). Who says the initial
configuration has to be solvable? You want to play in the big leagues,
that means you can throw down some scrolls of earth, and repair bad
luck, should the initial layout be deemed momentarily inconvenient.

So instead of fixed levels drawn from a small set of alternatives (what
we have now) or truly random levels, I suggest:

Use fixed levels, perhaps from a slightly larger set of alternatives.
Destroy a random 20% of the boulders. Deposit a similar number of
boulders in random locations (bound by some simple rules, e.g. must
have boulders/wall on no more than two sides).

There, now you have mildly-random Soko levels which are nearly almost
solvable most of the time (with a minor amount of pickaxing and ?oE
reading), and while spoilers are of some benefit, it is no longer a
cookbook affair.

For those suggesting "tetris" levels, I submit for your consideration:
http://fph.altervista.org/prog/bastet.shtml
 
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Boudewijn Waijers wrote:
> micromoog wrote:
>
> > I hate Sokoban.
>
> No one is stopping you to just skip it. There are no objects in
Sokoban
> that you need to finish the game (unlike, say, the Quest or Vlad's
> Tower).

I know. And I won't complain if it's made harder (which it probably
should be) . . . it'll just be a silly little part of the game, which
has nothing to do with dungeon hacking, and which I'll never see, other
than for the occasional nurse dance.
 
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[Sokoban improvement]

For realism's sake, the player shouldn't immediately know the map of the
Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the entrance.
 
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Heikki Moilanen wrote:

> Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@removethisword.home.nl> wrote:
>> crichmon wrote:
>>> the Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the
>
>> Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain four
>> free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.
>
> Not necessarily, just make it a new item, a book of maps or something.
>
> Reading it outside Sokoban would produce a message like "There doesn't
> seem to be a map for this level in the book."

Or even easier: add some text when you climb the Sokoban stair, something
like "You see a map engraved on a plaque on the wall, and when you read it
an image coalesces in your mind."

--
Benjamin Lewis

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of
oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate
commerce. -- J. Edgar Hoover
 
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micromoog wrote:

> I hate Sokoban.

No one is stopping you to just skip it. There are no objects in Sokoban
that you need to finish the game (unlike, say, the Quest or Vlad's
Tower).

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
 
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carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu wrote:

> I was thinking about this; I like Sokoban, but then I can see why
> people would hate it. What if there was some sort of difficulty
> option for people who don't like it much, or want a watered down
> version?

There already is such an option: when you enter Sokoban, and don't like
it, LEAVE.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
 
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crichmon wrote:

> For realism's sake, the player shouldn't immediately know the map of
> the Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the
> entrance.

Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain four
free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.

--
Boudewijn Waijers (kroisos at home.nl).

The garden of happiness is surrounded by a wall so low only children
can look over it. - "the Orphanage of Hits", former Dutch radio show.
 
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Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@removethisword.home.nl> wrote:
> crichmon wrote:
> > the Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the

> Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain four
> free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.

Not necessarily, just make it a new item, a book of maps or something.

Reading it outside Sokoban would produce a message like "There doesn't
seem to be a map for this level in the book."

Or the book could just turn to dust if you leave Sokoban with it, or when
you read it on the final level :)

-Heikki
 
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On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu wrote:

> Ross Presser <rpresser@imtek.com> carefully considered, then mistyped:
> > On 7 Mar 2005 10:46:19 -0800, micromoog wrote:
> >> John H. wrote:
> >>> [ideas to make Sokoban harder]
> >> I hate Sokoban. I only do it to get the loot, and only then by staring
> >> at a spoiler. If it were any harder (read: more annoying), I wouldn't
> >> do it at all.
> > That sounds fine; it appears that the small amount of loot that shows up at
> > the top is not a sufficient motive for you. Thus making Sokoban harder
> > will not decrease Nethack's value for you significantly.
> >> I play Nethack for dungeon slashing, etc, not for an all-but-unrelated
> >> puzzle game. If this were implemented, I suspect it would change the
> >> number of players who do Sokoban from "some" to "few".
> > Instinctually I want to disagree with you on this. I have no proof, but I
> > think that a fair number of people who prefer Nethack to, say, Angband, are
> > drawn by its quirky character, which includes the "by Thoth, everything
> > INCLUDING kitchen sinks is in here!" effect.
>
> I was thinking about this; I like Sokoban, but then I can see why people would
> hate it. What if there was some sort of difficulty option for people who
> don't like it much, or want a watered down version?
>
> It could work like this: level 1 of Sokoban has 2(or more) solutions, which
> lead to different stairs. Once one of the stairs is selected, the others
> close off. Based on which stairs you go up, you get an easier version of
> sokoban. It would need to be clear before you start which stair is which,
> and how to communicate it to an unspoiled player would be important. Also,
> easy Soko would want smaller prizes than hard Soko. Maybe (random ideas
> without much thought) fewer of everything (or most things) and guaranteed
> ...oilskin sack or ...amulet of unchanging.

That may even be quite easy to do with something like (huge bunch of n+k
boulders) (n holes) (stairs to Soko1) (k holes) (stairs to Soko2).

Of course, it would be rather easy to free n boulders by blocking some of
them in corners and really hard to free all the n+k boulders and go to
Soko2. Notice that this may allow people would really want to to do both
Soko1 and Soko2 but that shouldn't be too harmfull.
(or maybe there should be (n+k) boulders, including (n+1) easy, n holes
before a branching, 1 hole before Soko1 and k holes before Soko2, so you
cannot do both Soko1 and Soko2 unless you agree to loss some luck.

Of course, this will not prevent from spoiler reading or learning the
solution.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
 
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On Mon, 7 Mar 2005, Douglas Henke wrote:

> carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu writes:
> > It could work like this: level 1 of Sokoban has 2(or more) solutions, which
> > lead to different stairs. Once one of the stairs is selected, the others
> > close off. Based on which stairs you go up, you get an easier version of
> > sokoban. It would need to be clear before you start which stair is which,
> > and how to communicate it to an unspoiled player would be important. Also,
> > easy Soko would want smaller prizes than hard Soko.
>
> Harder Soko (and/or Soko which isn't trivialized by recourse to the
> appropriarte spoiler) led me to think:
>
> Hmm, how hard would it be to algorithmically generate pseudorandom,
> solvable Sokoban (F NetHack Sokoban Rules VO "solvable") levels? Pretty
> hard, especially if you want to require that the algorithm be able to
> potentially emit _any_ of the universe of solvable levels.
>
> But: It's _harder_ Soko (with big prizes). Who says the initial
> configuration has to be solvable? You want to play in the big leagues,
> that means you can throw down some scrolls of earth, and repair bad
> luck, should the initial layout be deemed momentarily inconvenient.
>
> So instead of fixed levels drawn from a small set of alternatives (what
> we have now) or truly random levels, I suggest:
>
> Use fixed levels, perhaps from a slightly larger set of alternatives.
> Destroy a random 20% of the boulders. Deposit a similar number of
> boulders in random locations (bound by some simple rules, e.g. must
> have boulders/wall on no more than two sides).
>
> There, now you have mildly-random Soko levels which are nearly almost
> solvable most of the time (with a minor amount of pickaxing and ?oE
> reading), and while spoilers are of some benefit, it is no longer a
> cookbook affair.

I'm afraid sokoban is highly sensitive to boulder placement and moving a
single boulder from a single space may ruin the whole game. Of course, if
you start by saying that Soko cannot be won without loosing luck, this is
still doable.
Maybe a mix with carl's idea: Soko1, easy version, should be fixed and no
trouble to solve. Soko2, hard version, should be semi-random and implies
luck-loss to win in almost all cases. In that case, i would definitely
recommand allowing both Soko do be done without penality at the first
level.

> For those suggesting "tetris" levels, I submit for your consideration:
> http://fph.altervista.org/prog/bastet.shtml

The problem being that it's not really turn-based.
What about puyo-puyo with blobs falling ?
Or some kind of Puzzle-bubble : kick those blobs/fungus together and
they'll explode, opening the passage for you.

Or maybe some kind of mirrormagic : open the right doors, zap the wand,
watch that beam bounce and destroy that boulder and go to the next level.
This would garantee some kind of wand at first level (similar to scrolls
of earth of Soko).
Well, that should probably require some slight modification to the
behaviour of wands in mirromagic, I don't think that wand of striking do
bounce, of wands of lightning do destroy boulders, plus MM should have
wands with potentially infinite range, but that could be doable).

Or maybe some logical enigma: a special key usable only once, a few
special doors, that can only be opened with the key and some engraving
such as "if I'm speaking the truth, then my left neighboor leads to the
Jabberwock". Choose your door and watch what's inside...

Or logical puzzle with doors and levers: each lever you pull may
open/close several doors and you have to find which to pull in order to
open the way out.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
 
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On Tue, 8 Mar 2005, Heikki Moilanen wrote:

> Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@removethisword.home.nl> wrote:
> > crichmon wrote:
> > > the Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the
>
> > Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain four
> > free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.
>
> Not necessarily, just make it a new item, a book of maps or something.
>
> Reading it outside Sokoban would produce a message like "There doesn't
> seem to be a map for this level in the book."

Always thought (or may have read a YANI somewhere ?) that this kind of
book should definitely be part of tourist equipement.

You read you're Hitchhiker's guide to the dungeon --More--
This seems to be the famous city of Orcus town --More--
[maps the fixed part of the town]
On the left of the entrance, admire the door sculpted by famous artist...
[50 lines like that]
Places to sleep: --More--
[list a few "inns"]
Places to eat: --More--
[idem]
Places to be eaten: --More--
Almost anywhere
[keep going like that]
The monsters seems to have gathered around while you where reading.

DYWYPI ?

Jym, killed by cultural enligthenment.


A free pre-mapping of the fixed part of mappable levels seems to be a
not-too powerful but yet useful gift for an easy Sokoban. Anyway, it's
fixed part so you can always read spoilers and know what it look likes
whenever you want. Plus that require you to carry the Hitchhiker's guide
with you.

Of course, a cursed hitchhiker's guide is not something to be trusted...
And of course an uncursed towel can uncurse the hitchhiker's guide to the
dungeon.
Blessed guide may also map some non-fixed part of levels of parts of
non-fixed levels. Or maybe not (else it would be too powerfull in
Gehennom).

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
 
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Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@removethisword.home.nl> carefully considered, then mistyped:
> carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu wrote:

>> I was thinking about this; I like Sokoban, but then I can see why
>> people would hate it. What if there was some sort of difficulty
>> option for people who don't like it much, or want a watered down
>> version?

> There already is such an option: when you enter Sokoban, and don't like
> it, LEAVE.

i thought we were talking about the kitchen sink, here.

carl
--
carl cox , carldotcox@gtri.gatech.edu
Research Scientist: GTRI/ITTL/CSITD
On a scale of One to Awesome, I'm Super Great. -SB
 
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Jym wrote:
[stuff about more puzzle-types in Nethack]

Sokoban was included, I believe, because Nethack's rules for boulders
and pits were already fairly close to the rules for that game. (Indeed
I was musing, personally, about a Sokoban-type of thing around a year
before that darn DevTeam actually created it. I couldn't have been the
only one, either.)

Things like Puyo Puyo do not have readily adaptable elements in basic
Nethack, so it's unlikely the DevTeam will make something like that on
their own. (Meaning, if someone were to create it themselves and make
it work convincingly, then it might make it into vanilla Nethack, but
not otherwise.) Mirror-beam puzzles might be possible with some
extension to the wand code, but would probably require the creation of
new dungeon features to make the puzzle work, and so will also probably
require someone else to implement it before the DevTeam will consider
it.

(Disclaimer: I'm not on the DevTeam, but I'm reasonably certain that
this is the case.)

- John H.
 
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Boudewijn Waijers wrote:

> Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain
four
> free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.

Given that scrolls of magic mapping come into their own in Genhennom, I
don't see how having four extra of these is that much of a problem....

- John H.
 
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Jym wrote:

> Well, there are actually a few special features in Sokoban, namely
the
> fact that you cannot move diagonally if boulders are blocking you and
the
> fact that boulders cannot move diagonnaly in the Sokoban levels. So,
a bit
> of "special effect".

But these are easily implemented as special cases of the boulder code.
Plus, the extra item added for Sokoban (scrolls of earth) have
applications outside of that branch. (They're one of my favorite ways
to get through the Medusa level.)

I think the important question to ask is -- do the elements added for
the puzzle have useful applications outside of the puzzle area? Are we
just trying to make Nethack into an emacs-style container for any game
we want to put in? Sokoban made it in, probably, because we already
had 90% of the rules needed for it already in the game.

Also, it could be argued that one outside puzzle game dungeon branch is
quite enough.


> Logical enigma should not be too hard (just need special keys/doors
but if
> I've understand properly such things already exist in slash'em (the
three
> aligned keys and corresponding doors in Vlad's tower) so that could
be
> done).

I don't think I'm familiar with that puzzle type, explain?

> Levers/doors puzzle would need to add levers, again, that should be
doable
> I think.

Lever-operated doors aren't really "puzzles," in my opinion, but just
an excuse to make the player tromp all over the level. I do kind of
miss the idea of having multiple key-types for doors (now there's only
skeleton keys, but there used to be multiple types with different
keyholes), but I don't yet have any ideas for how those could be
usefully introduced back into the game.

- John H.
 
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Benjamin Lewis <bclewis@cs.sfu.ca> wrote:

> Heikki Moilanen wrote:
>
> > Boudewijn Waijers <kroisos@removethisword.home.nl> wrote:
> >> crichmon wrote:
> >>> the Sokoban level. Instead, include a map of magic mapping at the
> >
> >> Which would basically mean that anyone who had spoilers would gain four
> >> free scrolls of magic mapping, that could be used elsewhere.
> >
> > Not necessarily, just make it a new item, a book of maps or something.
> >
> > Reading it outside Sokoban would produce a message like "There doesn't
> > seem to be a map for this level in the book."
>
> Or even easier: add some text when you climb the Sokoban stair, something
> like "You see a map engraved on a plaque on the wall, and when you read it
> an image coalesces in your mind."

Better yet, since that message doesn't really tell you anything you
don't already see on screen and will certainly require most players to
press one more key every time they go up a Soko stair (which they'll do
more than once, if they have pets), why not just leave out the message
and let the player interfere this from the display?
Oh, wait, that's what we have now...

Richard
 
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Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

On Tue, 8 Mar 2005, John H. wrote:

> Jym wrote:
> [stuff about more puzzle-types in Nethack]
>
> Sokoban was included, I believe, because Nethack's rules for boulders
> and pits were already fairly close to the rules for that game. (Indeed
> I was musing, personally, about a Sokoban-type of thing around a year
> before that darn DevTeam actually created it. I couldn't have been the
> only one, either.)

Well, there are actually a few special features in Sokoban, namely the
fact that you cannot move diagonally if boulders are blocking you and the
fact that boulders cannot move diagonnaly in the Sokoban levels. So, a bit
of "special effect".

> Things like Puyo Puyo do not have readily adaptable elements in basic
> Nethack, so it's unlikely the DevTeam will make something like that on
> their own. (Meaning, if someone were to create it themselves and make
> it work convincingly, then it might make it into vanilla Nethack, but
> not otherwise.) Mirror-beam puzzles might be possible with some
> extension to the wand code, but would probably require the creation of
> new dungeon features to make the puzzle work, and so will also probably
> require someone else to implement it before the DevTeam will consider
> it.

Yes, I think Tetris/Puyo/Puzzle-bubble will need too much new things.
Mirror-beam puzzle could be doable with not too much new things (maybe
only infinite range beam would suffice).
Logical enigma should not be too hard (just need special keys/doors but if
I've understand properly such things already exist in slash'em (the three
aligned keys and corresponding doors in Vlad's tower) so that could be
done).
Levers/doors puzzle would need to add levers, again, that should be doable
I think.

Of course, I agree with your opinion of the DevTeam reasonning.

Hypocoristiquement,
Jym.
 
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"John H." <JohnWH@gmail.com> writes:
> Also, it could be argued that one outside puzzle game dungeon branch is
> quite enough.

Well, that's a simple enough argument to answer: still have the single
puzzle branch in the place it is now, but have it so that in any given
game it's a random chance whether its puzzles will be sokoban, sudoku,
hitori, or whatever. (Puzzle types exemplary only; I have no idea how
you'd implement sudoku or hitori in NetHack.) I think single-type
would be preferable to mixed-type, so you can recognise from the start
whether it's something you want to be doing, but either could work.

--
: Dylan O'Donnell http://www.spod-central.org/~psmith/ :
: "You boil it in sawdust: you salt it in glue: / You condense it with :
: locusts and tape: / Still keeping one principal object in view -- / :
: To preserve its symmetrical shape." [ Lewis Carroll, "THotS" ] :
 
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Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.nethack (More info?)

"crichmon" <crichmon@gmail.com> wrote:
>Not a whiner per se, just thought Sokoban might be more 'interesting' if the
>map wasn't immediately visible/known (spoilers aside).

I would go so far as to say that the set of Sokoban levels that can be
reliably solved in a single pass without starting with complete
information is very small.
--
Martin Read - my opinions are my own. share them if you wish.
My roguelike games page (including my BSD-licenced roguelike) can be found at:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~mpread/roguelikes.html
NP: Judas Priest - Angel of Retribution