Hello everyone! :) I like Mazes and Labyrinths. My Maze program "Daedalus" (see Daedalus Engine, or my homepage link) works with them in several ways, including as a platform for several games based on Mazes.
Thanks for sharing all your ideas and observations. :) I'll start by mentioning a few things that can be done already:
8: If you want to name all tributes yourself, just press the apostrophe (') key and enter a comma separated list of names. For example, enter "Cashmere,Gloss,Enobaria,Brutus,Wiress,Beetee ,Mags,Finnick,,,Morphling,Morphling ,Johanna,Blight,Cecilia,Woof,, ,,,Seeder,Chaff,Katniss,Peeta" (minus the surrounding double quotes) to give the tributes names from the 75th Hunger Games. Just save that text in a file, and copy/paste it in whenever you want to apply your saved list of names. Also, in 3.1 there's a new setting that will automatically give all tributes random District appropriate names.
10: In 3.1 there's a new map variation command that only shows the location of other tributes, and not terrain and items that indeed can make it harder to find people.
12: Mutts last longer in larger arenas. In Mountain and Maze arenas, they may not even show up before the end of the game. In 3.1 you can have X additional Mutts released into the arena after Y turns. Make X large enough and you have a "mutt finale" like at the end of the 74th Games.
14: This should already happen. Play a non-Career, attack say the D1 Male, and notice not only the D1 Female is mad at you and treating you as Enemy, but so are their allies from D2 and D4.
The custom arenas just define landscape features. That's because the input is a Windows bitmap file, which can only indicate different colors for different squares. Behaviors within both custom and non-custom arenas, such as number of Mutts and when they're released, are defined with other variables in the game. That means most custom arenas should be associated with an appropriate string of settings to paste into the ";" key all settings dialog, so games using the custom arena behave the way you want. :)
Yes, each sector represents one of the 12 Districts, in the following ways:
1 (Luxury): Walled off mansions and lakes
2 (Masonry): Large rocky mountains
3 (Technology): A Maze puzzle
4 (Fishing): All water with a bit of beach
5 (Power): A river (which can be dammed)
6 (Transportation): A network of roads
7 (Lumber): Thick forest
8 (Textiles): A pattern of dirty buildings
9 (Grain): A lush green field
10 (Livestock): Open scrub plains
11 (Agriculture): Orchard trees in a grid
12 (Mining): Small dirty mountains
Indeed, this is similar to the Catching Fire arena, in that the arena is divided into 12 sections. However, the Catching Fire arena had a clock theme, while this is a 12 Districts theme. Also the Catching Fire arena is just 12 identical spokes across water, all surrounded by identical jungle. Here each wedge has unique landscape similar to that of the District. :)
The numbers for the Districts are drawn using preset Net traps, similar to the orange tokens on the ground in the Island arena.
There aren't hourly disasters in the wedges of the Catching Fire style clock arena, however you can set up events at particular times. Periodic Feasts are supported in the current version. The next version will introduce being able to release a given number of Mutts, as well as a deadly wall of fire advancing across the arena. Having say a Feast at turn 1000, Mutts at turn 2000, and fire at turn 3000, is a good way to make an arena more dynamic. :)
Yes, just play in a bigger arena, and the island will also be bigger. :) The island is about 80% the size of the arena, so a 4000x4000 arena will result in a continent sized island roughly 3200 units across.
Indeed, in the current version the background beyond the arena is always one of three color schemes: Greenish brown for forest, yellowish tan for desert, and grayish white for snow. Now it can also be bluish water, which will be selected for arenas surrounded by water such as this new island arena. It will also used for the existing Battle Royale arena (Shift+F2 and enter "B" to play it) which is surrounded by water as well. On a more technical level, the low level setting "L3" that makes the entire arena one big ocean is what selects the blue background.
Actually these orange squares are Net traps. In 3.1 you can set them by wielding a Net and using the "dig" command. There can also be a certain number of them preset in the arena from the beginning, such as seen here. That makes it so you can't just step anywhere when exploring. There can also be Wasp nests on the ground, or even active landmines. They're all orange, so in summary never step on an orange square because the result is always bad. :)
Yes, two months is the estimated release time. :) Development is continuing, and there are new commands and options. For example, Tracker Jacker nests (and preset Net traps) can be on the ground in addition to up in trees, to give a percentage of spaces dangerous to step on, which can make combat like trying to fight in a minefield.
Mutts spread out, but gradually. At the start of the Games or when first released, they'll all be in a big pack. Then they'll move around, but generally stick to the edges of the arena, which helps herd tributes to the Cornucopia. Eventually all restrictions are ended, and Mutts may go anywhere, including attacking the Cornucopia. :)
Currently, the set of items that can be given out at a Feast is the same set used to determine items that can be given as Sponsor Gifts. For the next version, I've made them two separate tables, in which Feasts will indeed only contain better items. That means you can still get Berries or a simple Knife in a parachute, but a "X99" setting random item Feast will by default only contain the best. :)
Items already have different ratings when you give them. :) If you give a good item (such as 5+ damage weapons, First-Aid, or Bread) to a neutral tribute not angry at you, then it's guaranteed to make them agree to ally with you. Those items are effectively worth 5 alliance points, and it takes 5 points to raise an alliance category. Similarly, you could give two Axes (3 points each) to form an alliance.
In the Feast, you can select which item is given out for it (which is by default First-Aid) by setting variable "X" in the all settings (";" hotkey) dialog. Make it 33 or more and get random items. The set of items considered valid to give out in a Feast is defined in the hunger.ds file in the line starting with "SetVars %JAsg". Make non-zero each item you want to potentially be given out in a random item feast. :)
The short version is I don't know yet, however I can at least roughly estimate that it should be released sometime in June. :)
There has never been an option to toggle between tribute displays. In 2.5 and before, tributes showed just district/gender/weapon/health. In 3.0 tributes became human outlines with different hairstyles, and show district/gender/weapon/health, and also tribute number (since now there may be D1 Girl #1 and D1 Girl #2 for example). The additional info is why there's no "classic" mode. There may be more info added to tributes in the future, such as showing what item they're wearing (i.e. helmet/armor/parachute). Classic textures had the district/gender/weapon/health a bit larger, which indeed made that info slightly clearer from a distance, but they were only slightly larger than they are today.
The IndieDB top 100 list is updated hourly, and only considers visitors to a game page within the past 1-24 hours. Therefore a ranking can change radically up or down from hour to hour, and especially from day to day. Games frequently jump up quite a bit if they get mentioned on a popular site or something, and then trail off over time (at least until the next event happens). This game suddenly jumped to the top 10 last month, and has been gradually dropping since then. Right now it's #100-something, but it was still in the top 100 part of the day yesterday. :)
One complete day/night cycle is 200 turns, so divide the total turn count by 200 to get the number of days that have passed. A 22505 turn game is over 112 days, or 3.75 months. That's indeed a super long game, and must have been in a large arena to have enough food to keep tributes alive for that long (especially since sponsor gifts stop coming after day 10).
Well, one new feature that should immediately be apparent is that there's now animation when moving from square to square or rotating in place. You no longer just jump to the new location, but rather intermediate frames are shown along the way, making everything much smoother. :) You can of course specify the smoothness or turn it off altogether.
Oh yes, better 3D models, especially if they animated attacks and picking up items and such, would be a great visual addition to the game. However, that would take time to do myself, or require expense to hire others, and there's limitations to what the simple Daedalus engine (which is designed for displaying Mazes) can do, which is why it hasn't been done yet.
That's an interesting idea. :) It would make tributes tend to stuff themselves instead of rationing food, but generally eating food right away is best, since it frees up inventory slots that can be used for other things. It would also make food more valuable, instead of just something to prevent starvation damage, or potentially something to give away to form an alliance.
Currently the only way to create a new alliance after a game has started (both for you and the AI) is to give a nice item (or enough items) to somebody with the "give" command. Yes, sometimes tributes will throw things at you, which makes it much harder to ally with them, because they now consider you "enemy". Therefore, it's good to approach tributes you want to ally with at an oblique angle so they can't get in a ranged attack, before you give them stuff.
Yes, there will be a new "propose alliance" command in the next version. :) It allows offering an alliance to somebody from a distance. It may not work (they may decline or even get mad at you) but still it's a way for poorer tributes who don't have good gear to offer, to be able to ally with each other for mutual benefit.
There's lots that could be done here. :) Currently all trees are firs, but having some be fruit trees could allow you to bump into a tree to dislodge fruit (which would allow something good to happen, in contrast to disturbing a tracker jacker nest which is the only thing available in trees currently). Meat would be something beyond Berries and Fish, and could be roaming game or something catchable with Nets.
Plants that heal would be like what Rue used to heal Katniss' tracker jacker stings. They would need to be rare or handled carefully, to prevent everybody from being at full health all the time. Another idea is to allow natural healing, in that if you rest all night without moving any you regenerate a bit of health.
There's already a "Battle Royale" mode in the game (press Shift+F2 and enter "B" for arena type to play it) so it makes sense to have a mode inspired by "The Maze Runner" series too. :) You can do that somewhat already with the Maze arena (press Shift+F2 and enter "Z" for arena type). That makes the entire arena one big Maze, in which the open space you start in can be considered the Glade. Play with just 1 District and a bunch of tributes per District, to minimize people fighting each other, and then it's just Gladers vs. Grievers (i.e. Mutts) in the Maze.
Congratulations on doing the "True Love" achievement described at Astrolog.org :) Actually, a tribute will eat Nightlock if it's F2 and they're max allied toward you (it doesn't matter how you feel about them in return). However, it's possible they'll accept Nightlock but then not eat it if they're full (have over 500 food). I've changed what will be the next version so one can always eat Nightlock and take the consequences if they want, even if full, to avoid confusion.
Good job also on your 23 kills in the ultimate arena (press Shift+F2 then enter "U" for arena type to play it). That's only 2 kills away from the number in the "Armageddon Victory" achievement. :)
By the way, I have made the AI a bit smarter for 3.1, so it prioritizes weapons that are significantly better than what it already has, instead of just good weapons period. :) For example, if a strong AI has a bunch of Axes, and you throw a Trident at it, then the AI will still throw an Axe at you. However, if the AI only has a Club, then it will prioritize picking up the Trident and upgrading its offense (even if that risks you getting in an extra attack).
Yes, Mutts will step on active Landmines as readily as any other square, and will blow themselves up easily. Tributes will usually avoid Landmines, although they won't check when jumping down to the ground, or otherwise stepping from a square while suspended in the air. That means you can partially camouflage Landmines if you want to blow up other tributes, if you have hills or even a shallow trench next to them.
For example, given a line of Landmines guarding the mouth of the Cornucopia, dig a one deep trench in front of the Landmines, and make every other trench square two deep. A tribute stepping into a one deep trench square will step down, but then moving sideways will place it over a two deep square, but the tribute will technically be hovering over that square because it's supported by the trench walls. That means the tribute may step on a Landmine from there. Somewhat technical game mechanics, but it does allow you to camouflage your Landmines. :)
Mutts always appear (whether at start of game or when the time is right) in the corners of the arena. That's the NW and NE corners behind the Cornucopia for horn shapes, or any of the four corners for circular shaped Cornucopias. Yes, if a tribute is in the corner of the arena, they may have a Mutt appear right next to them, or even suddenly get surrounded by Mutts! :) The same thing happens with the firewall: If you're on the edge of the arena when it begins, it will burst up around you. Fortunately there's a global message about the arena getting warm which gives you a warning it's about to begin. Similarly, there's a message about hearing howling in the arena when the Mutts are released.
Indeed, the building walls could be taller, or irregular random heights to emphasize being ruins. Currently, the ruined city is a suboption within the Maze wall setting ("Z" field). Instead of placing walls forming a Maze, instead it lays down square walls in a grid pattern with randomly positioned doorways in each square.
Indeed, in an urban environment Brick objects should be common in the arena even when away from the Cornucopia, and natural items like Clubs and Berries should be absent or at least less common. The object availability "out in the wild" can be manually changed in the hunger.ds file in the line starting with "SetVars %JAow %JMax". It would be nice if selecting the various arena types could automatically tweak the object availability tables appropriately.
Indeed, I've posted a new screenshot. :)
Yes, there are settings to determine the total number of Mutts, and also when those Mutts are released into the arena. That means you can start with just a few Mutts so the arena isn't empty, and then at an appropriate time have a bunch more released (like at the end of the 74th Hunger Games). Similar to the Firewall, this can be used to force a finale to the Games and make them end soon after. :)
Hmm, is your problem that you CAN'T run big maps at all (and if so what happens when you try?) Or is your problem that if you DO play in a large arena then the screen updates slower? Game speed isn't really affected by the size of the arena, unless somebody has set the clipping plane far away. Therefore try this:
When running the Hunger Games, press "Enter" key to bring up console, then type "q" (minus the quotes) for the command line, which will bring up the Daedalus "Inside Settings" dialog. Reduce the "Clipping Plane" field to 100 and OK the dialog, and see if the game feels faster? (On the other hand, if you have a more powerful PC, you can increase the clipping plane to 1000 or more, and objects in the arena a mile away will still be rendered!)