Saturday, March 16, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.7


After some more tweaking this morning, it is clear that this project needs a lot more than 7 days, at least for me. I've had a busy week that just didn't allow for enough coding opportunity.

What I've ended up with is a game that still feels far too much like Brogue, but has removed most of the fun from that game.

I'm probably going to keep working on this project from time to time. I want to see if I can get the core gameplay mechanic to revolve around hunting creatures for food, while avoiding being killed by the tougher creatures of the deeps.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.6

I finally found the bug that I introduced, and removed it. Monsters are trying to hunt down and kill the player again.

I still need to add visible monster corpses though, and I need to add monster eating behaviors, like being full making them less likely to attack, and eating distracting them from trying to follow the player. (Not to mention more advanced stuff like gobbos hauling kills back to camp.)

Right now I'm messing with the architecture code to try and make the cavern levels follow my general plan: the catacombs, the cave river, the cavern forests, the underground meadows, and the lakes of the deeps. I'm trying to decipher how the existing code leverages the blueprint objects to generate interesting level pieces.

After messing with it a bit though, my biggest concern is that, in the state its in right now, it just isn't much fun. I'm hoping that as I continue to add my own flair to it, and increase the amount of interaction between items and the environment, the fun will start to emerge; but I don't feel that is a certainty.

There's really way too much to do in the final day tomorrow. It is likely that I'm going to fail, but I'm glad that I've given it a shot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.5

A little bit more progress on Rational Brogue; I've got prey animals running from the player. The effect is pretty great when you run through a group of them. Unfortunately, once they get away, they all run together, so it looks a bit silly when chasing them.

I also managed to break all of the predator creatures, they don't want to move anymore, which is a huge bummer.

One step forward, two steps back.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.4

I've made a couple of changes that have started to make the game feel a bit more like what I intend.

For one, I've reduced the HP of the player by two thirds. This has revived the dangerous feeling of the caverns a bit after I've taken the teeth out of just about everything down there in search of my goal.

Secondly, I've modified some of the animal behavior in very simple ways. Predators will now take attacks of opportunity against prey creatures, though they won't hunt them yet. Prey creatures will try to stay away from the player, though unfortunately they still retain the need to hunt the player, so they're eternally torn in a foolish dance that eventually just gets them killed.

I've got a long way to go...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.3

Minor Success
I've managed to get the menu updated. It wasn't as hard as I thought it might be, though I spent a lot... Actually, lets be honest, way too much time messing with it to get it just right. In the end, I think it turned out pretty nice.

But that has distracted me from doing more important stuff like overhauling the entire AI system. All I've done so far is remove a bunch of creatures from the creature list.

Oh, and that wasn't my first attempt at a new logo, by the way. My first attempt ended up looking pretty horrible:

Now its back to code!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Seven Day Roguelike 2013 pt.2

The Good
After a few missteps, I managed to brush away the cobwebs in the back of my mind and grab the golden idol called "how in the heck to get Brogue to compile", and bring it back to the surface. After a bit more mucking about, I've actually gotten it to build with only a few small warnings spit at me by the compiler. Yay!

I was even able to merge in a couple of changes that I had previously proposed.

So, my build is now exactly like Brogue 1.72, except that this one gives you a message if monsters wake up, and it also allows you to use the 'a' key to equip and unequip. This means that the 'a' key can be used for any object in the game. If there are any exceptions to that last statement, they won't last long once I start paring everything down.

The Bad
Yeah, after building it, I just realized that modifying the title screen is probably going to be a huge pain; and that if I'm not able to mod it, I probably won't release it.

Next Steps
I need to start removing all of the extraneous monsters and items out of the game so that I can get to a working core.

Seven Day Roguelike 2013

Announcing my first seven day roguelike, [name to be determined later].

I'm starting with a working copy of Brogue 1.72.

This is a total conversion of Brogue. I want to investigate whether a rational world can still make for a fun roguelike. My intent is to create a world in which creatures behave rationally, in relation to both the player and each other, and in which the entire ecosystem of the dungeon is logical. Success will mean rebuilding the dungeon generator, a complete monster AI retrofit, changing most of the monster menagerie, changing a lot of the items, and modding the combat mechanics.

Here's a quick rundown of the most important changes that I'd like to make:

Rational Ecosystem
The world should be believable in that, when I enter the caverns, I should believe that this world could exist without me. Rats, for instance, should not attack me. Rats are scavengers; they should scatter when I come near and should opportunistically eat anything left behind. They should be a food source for other things, like jackals and so forth. One of my goals is that players should be able to see, throughout their travels, how exactly these creatures survive in the underground.

Creature Behavior
Creatures will no longer cooperate with one another unless they are part of the same pack or society. Many creatures will run in fear from the player immediately, or only approach you cautiously. Creatures will often hunt each other rather than bother with the player, the thing with all the pointy sticks.

Accounting For Nutrients
I'm going to be modifying the dungeon generator so that it generates terrain that supports enough plant life and other nutrients that all of the other creatures in the food chain can realistically survive. The number of creatures at the top of the food chain must derive from the amount of food available to them. I can't have levels with sixteen dragons in them unless there are are an astounding number of prey creatures on that level for all of them to eat.

Player Advancement
Like Brogue, this game does not reward experience points for combat. In fact, my intent is that the game will not have any sort of experience points at all. Player advancement will be driven entirely from items that are collected. Speaking of which:

Realistic Item Distribution
Items will not be found just strewn about randomly. All items will be found in one of three locations:
  • On the body of a dead adventurer
  • In some sort of cache, either from previous or current occupants
  • On the person of some creature that would reasonably carry it
I have some other goals in mind as well, but if I manage to get as far as the above, I'll be happy and consider it a success.

More to come later.