Rethinking Distance and Field of Vision

I am thinking about changing some of the gameplay aspects significantly when it comes to field of vision and ranged combat. As you may have noticed, the “range” attribute is currently fairly useless. Since ranged combat decreases in accuracy by a full 10% for every square of distance, you are not going to be that efficient in hitting at maximum distance anyway, especially at distances of 10 or more.

Another thing you may have noticed is that your field of vision is infinite as long as nothing blocks your path. I have been experimenting with some new dungeon layouts with more open areas and realized that this infinite field of vision then is not so good idea in such places.

Limited Field of Vision and Light

I am currently considering the following:

  • Remove “range” as an attribute.
  • Introduce “light” as a new attribute.
  • Field of Vision will be limited by your “light” attribute (so it will work more or less like in Angband).
  • Your firing range is limited by your field of vision, which means it will replace the function of “range”.

The Ground Gives Way uses a simple mechanic to see if  a monster can see you: it can see you if you can see it. This makes the light attribute a more interesting choice for stealthy character and you will have to manage both your visibility (i.e., light) and your noise level.

This would also make a minor overhaul of items necessary: introducing light sources and removing/changing items that manipulates distance.

I am still experimenting with this and will have to test quite a bit before deciding if it fits in the game. What would you think about such a change, do you think it is a good idea? Other ideas?





  1. I agree ranged combat could be improved. For example right now I would never take a longbow over a light bow. I think infinite vision can work sometimes (e.g. Brogue), and limited FOV might feel claustrophobic. I’ve seen it done well both ways, however.

    Also “it can see you if you can see it” doesn’t really feel that way right now, especially with ranged enemies. The “wait around a corner until they approach” method doesn’t work well. Ranged enemies just keep their distance whether or not they can actually “see” you.

    1. Thanks for your input! I have experimented quite a lot and I like this general direction so far. It does feel claustrophobic some times and less open than before which is why I plan to have many rooms lit up by default. This gets rarer the deeper you go.

      The reason that ranged enemies usually keep their distance even though they can’t see you is for two reasons:
      1) they can’t hear you (then they won’t chase you). Sound doesn’t travel diagonally, so going around a corner may lead to monsters not hearing you.
      2) They do hear you and they will still keep their distance because they can hear how far away you are. Right now you emit sound even when you just wait, which is something I might have to change.

  2. I’d somewhat disagree with range being a useless attribute, it just requires a high missile skill to take advantage of. This means an effective ranged build needs to improve two stats, similar how a melee build ideally has both melee and block.

    However, I still think the change to light radius sounds like a great idea in general. It basically gives the range attribute even more meaning. It seems like the original “candle” item will still do what it has always done, only in a more realistic manner, eh? 😉

    1. Yes, the intention was to have to maintain two attributes, but the only time it seems to make much of a difference is when you throw rocks, so it didn’t really work out as well as I hoped.

      As you say, the light attribute has the same effect but is more meaningful and interesting as it affects both stealth and range based characters. It is also really fun to play around with light sources (yeah, such as the candle 🙂 )of various kinds.

      What I am a bit concerned about right now is that the game feels quite different and I will have to play around with this to be sure it is a good idea. Your input really helps with making these kinds of decisions!

      1. Yeah, I’m sure the game feels a lot different with a change such as that. In the end either way will probably work out, it’s just a matter of what type of experience you want to create. Perhaps you could release a “test version” for others to try out and provide more specific feedback? I’m sure there’d be plenty of interest from the community. I’d definitely try it out. Since the next major release wouldn’t be for a while anyway, once you have a mostly complete test version you could just post about it and offer a separate download for anyone interested.

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