Saturday, 25 August 2012

Encircled: 60HRL

Download link.

Two and a half days isn't bad. It's got everything I wanted except an evil challenging AI for the bosses (they just run away). Their now-smart minions totally make up for it, though. It still doesn't have any semblance of plot or background, just because I haven't the faintest clue what kind of world this gameplay would make sense in (aside from Conway's Game of Life).

I verified that the game was winnable against mindless random-walker zombies, but I was too busy coding the AI (up to the 60HRL deadline) to test if the AI is actually beatable. So, good luck with that. I'll be putting an effort into winning and post a blog if I succeed.

Summary from the forum thread:

Unlike every other roguelike out there, you can only attack if the terrain surrounding you matches a pattern on your weapon, and you can only hurt someone if the terrain surrounding them matches a pattern on your weapon. All the enemies have the same restrictions.

Slightly inspired by rogue rage, you automatically attack every turn if you can. All you have to worry about is where to go and whether to pick up a different weapon off the floor.

Objective is to slay a certain number of boss enemies on each level. All the other enemies can be ignored, but they'll do their very best to hinder and hurt you.

The dungeon is initially just a random mess of walls and floors, but as you play a level it gets restructured by whoever stands on a terrain alteration button - as long as someone does that, the dungeon will change so that their weapon patterns are more prevalent.

Please comment or email me if you try the game, and especially if you win.
Encircled running on Linux over ssh.


Totally surrounded by 'b's. NOT THE 'B'S! Equivalent to death without an appropriate weapon.

Doing reasonably well on level 1.
... and I just noticed that "hlth" and "wepn" are the wrong way round. That'll be fixed for ARRP, if not sooner.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Encircled: 44.5 hour report

Everything except AI is finished.

Download link

Unfortunately the game is really easy playing against random walkers (it only took me a few tries to win), so I'm going to have to give the AI some claws.
However, unforseen circumstances mean I'm busy until approximately the 2DRL deadline. Which I guess means that this is going to be a 3DRL. Or at least 2.5.

So while this release isn't very indicative of the final version's challenge level, I would be interested to hear whether people feel the variety of weapons between dungeon levels is good. Personally I feel it's a bit too heavy on adjacent (melee) weapons, with visual range weapons showing up slightly too late. Since this is still a debugging version, you can fake a boss kill by pressing capital F if you want to explore the lower levels and see what's on them.You can also take a new random pair of weapons by pressing 'v'. Feel free to experiment and tell me what tweaks you think are needed in the balance of weapons.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Encircled: 24 hour report

24 hours ago (about 3:45 PM on Wednesday) I started writing a small roguelike, intending to finish it in one or two days. It's called Encircled, and its schtick is that actors can only attack if the 8 tiles surrounding them match the first pattern on their weapon. Likewise, they can only cause damage to actors whose position matches the second pattern on the weapon. So, winning is dependent on positioning oneself to avoid damage from all enemies and to be able to deal damage to the enemies that need to be killed (bosses - everything else can be (un)safely ignored). It's also important to exploit the restructuring squares, which when an actor stands on them will remould the dungeon to favour the weapon carried by that actor.

So far, everything's implemented except:
  • Sensible AI (just random walkers for now)
  • Swapping weapons from the floor (at the moment you press 'v' to take a new random pair of weapons)
  • Sensible progression of weapon quality for the player (see above)
  • Plot (I don't think I could possibly think up any narrative excuse for this gameplay)
That means that what I do have is:
  • Combat system implemented: matching rotatable and reflectable weapon patterns against use and target, checking for range. Weapons can affect adjacent enemies, enemies in visual range, or enemies anywhere on the map; weapons can either choose a target at random, or damage all matching enemies.
  • 16 dungeon levels (numbered 1 to 20 with some gaps)
  • Procedural weapons, ordered by a reasonably sensible quality function
  • Procedural enemies, 5 per level, which consist of a weapon plus a health counter
  • Boss fights (kill 21 minus DLevel bosses to win the level)
  • Restructuring pads, which alter the dungeon layout to favour the weapon(s) of the actors standing on them.
  • Activatable assistance displays. One shows where the player can/could attack and where they could attack from, and where the enemies can/could attack and where they could attack from.
  • Three simultaneous keymaps for movement. qweasdzxc, hjklyunm, and 789456123. The only people who will be unable to play this game are dvorak/azerty laptop users with a non-functioning fn key who hate vi keys. And they can jolly well edit the source code.
No download link yet, but I might post a preview version a bit before the deadline. Assuming I don't decide halfway through that it's a 7drl. That's how KleinRL turned into a 14DRL...

Edit: download link.

Also given that this is a long way off from ARRP, I guess for ARRP I'll have to release a bugfix/update version.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

ARRP plans

The Annual Roguelike Release Party's coming up soon, so I've resumed making changes to Mutant Aliens!
  • Buildings now have windows, which can be destroyed by explosions (but not bullets) - this makes getting into and searching buildings slightly easier.
  • Damage required to flatten a given piece of terrain now varies with terrain type. As well as windows (reliably), walls can now (unreliably) be destroyed by direct cannon shots.
  • Doors are now opaque - this makes walking through them more dangerous.
  • Active devices now have spy cameras that transmit pictures to you (giving you line of sight)
  • Aliens can now be shot critically, doing double damage. You have to discover a species' weak point before you can specifically aim for it, which you do by shooting at each of its body sections in turn. All this is done automatically, so for the player the effect is that after several shots (the larger the alien, the more it takes), a shot makes a critical hit. From then on there is a slightly-more-than 1/3 chance of each shot being critical.
  • New messages are drawn in bright white, old messages are drawn in dark white (grey) to distinguish them.
There are other changes I made slightly longer ago, which haven't yet been included in an official update:
  • Tiles in line of sight are drawn with bright colours
  • Two alien species can no longer share a character representation with each other
  • Probability of the player starting trapped in a room is now 0 (but escape was always possible with explosives)
  • A message is generated when the player is hit by an explosion, discouraging them from shooting the cannon at adjacent enemies
  • If aliens are camped in the ship when you return, you can close the doors before killing them in order to stop any more from entering.
  • Aliens can no longer spawn in visual range of the player.
  • Transmitter is always generated at a minimum distance from the player.
Several more changes are planned:
  • Options to change the keyboard controls
  • Tutorial, even if it's just a bunch of labelled ASCII screenshots!
  • Incorporating improvements from Mutant Aristocrats! (feedback on individual monsters' health and stamina states when examining them)
  • Flesh out the plot, make it not-totally-obscure why the transmitter is there (completely changing the endgame), add props to make the map seem less dead
  • Write scores/character dumps to file in a format suitable for usenet and forums
  • Choice of character backgrounds (classes)
  • The ubiquitous galactic pest: giant carnivorous plants (if you're very unlucky)
  • Rebalance monster senses to ensure that distraction devices have a noticeable but not overpowered effect
  • Complete difficulty rescale (too many easy difficulties which don't differ much, too few challenging difficulties which differ too much). Most of the planned gameplay changes (critical hits in particular) make the game easier, so a general increase in difficulty wouldn't go amiss.
    • changes to alien stat distribution?
    • changes to initial ammo?
    • changes to device counts?