Saturday, March 9, 2013

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.

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