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RavenKeep: The Spiel

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HopeDagger

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All Quiet on the South-Eastern Front


Work consumes all! Well, nearly all. I've been getting better and better at fitting game development into my daily weekday schedule despite working full-time, and I'm finally at the point where I can toot my own horn a little about it. [smile]

Now that RavenKeep is at a somewhat more 'open' stage in development, early as it may be, I hope to begin pumping out journal entries more frequently to discuss its details and inner-workings. Let's talk about RK, shall we?



Introducing: RavenKeep


Title pending, RavenKeep aims to be a clever blending of the genres. I don't like to refer to my game as a comparison of others, but I find it tends to capture the imagination of people looking to know what the game might be like. Given that, picture something along the lines of Diablo meets Doom meets Final Fantasy Tactics. Please, allow me to explain. [smile]

RavenKeep is to take from Diablo the dungeon-dwelling gameplay, with randomly generated dungeons, equipment and monsters. From DooM comes the slightly less hack & slash gameplay, along with interesting enemies and clever levels and traps. Lastly, from FFT we extract the extensive character development and somewhat cartoon-ish artistic direction.

Here's where we stand on that right now:



(No sword, no shield, no service!)



This is certainly an Alpha-calibre screenshot with mainly placeholder art, but the plain-Jane look and feel of the dungeon is somewhat present. If the idea isn't coming across yet, it should solidify in the coming months. [smile]


A Story!?


I've never written a game with a story. A real story, that is. Some lame line like, "You take on the role of Dr. Smallship who has invented a ship-shrinking device that can-- blah blah". Who would use something like that for a game? [grin]

The storyline so far is pretty much cliche roguelike material, but I aim to expand it in-game by use of side quests and readable in-game books (a la the Elder Scrolls series). I'll post the first draft version of it here, so go easy on the critique:

Quote:
*story snipped*


This will definitely change a lot as the game develops and I get a clearer image of what the final result is to look and play like. Still, suggestions for improvement are very welcome.

Sorry, the story is still too cliche. I'll post this when it's in better shape. [smile]



I also intended on talking about the underlying code producing all of this fun stuff, but I find myself at a loss for words. I've been doing a lot of low-level pain-staking work on it lately (ie. allowing for non-power-of-two textures without the OGL extension, ugh), so nothing is springing to mind.

There's lots of neat stuff though, like stacking screenshots. Something like this:


// Set the pre and post strings, and BCGL will number screenshots in
// middle, without overwriting.
graphics->setScreenshotPrefix("Media/Screenshots/rk_img");
graphics->setScreenshotSuffix(".png");

//...

// Finally, easy-to-use screenshots. Gah.
if(input->keyPressed(KEY_q))
graphics->screenshot();


And I also implemented the ever-to-handy Oscillate() function, which takes cycles-per-second as an argument. It's basically a sine wave function a little glorified, but I'll never have to do without it again. It's just a nice touch so one can easy add in bouncy-looking objects (which fit perfectly in the cartoony look I'm aiming for) such as the circular movement selection indicator, which is challenging to show oscillating in a screenshot. In short, the lesson to take away from this paragraph is: write an Oscillate() function. Don't leave home without it!

EDIT: Oh gads, I never even mentioned the auto-joining tiles. More commonly known as The Scourge of my Existence(TM). However, with minimized drawing and culling-aplenty, there it is. It's the main thing that's keeping the screenshots from being hideous. [grin]


Continued Development


The version, the FIRST version, dubbed Milestone One is nearly complete. Aside from a handful of BaseCamp fixes/changes, I need to implement the BaseCamp networking component (built atop the sleek RakNet) so I can get basic co-op support started. I'll probably poke you folks on MSN at some point or two -- you know you who are. [smile]

Simultaneously, I am also looking to bring aboard another artist. Draffurd has become extremely busy at this point in his life with studying Music (his real passion [sad]) and two summer jobs. I'm going to try and bring aboard a skilled friend of mine -- that's you Jason, if you're reading [smile] -- to lend a head with getting the art side running smoothly while I tend to the inner-workings. If that's a no-go, then I'll try my luck on the forum for garnering an artist into helping RavenKeep. More on that as it develops!

After Milestone One and an artist is aboard, Milestone Two will be underway. The goals for which involve getting the fun stuff started: item manipulation and monsters.

Oooooh, monsters. [smile]
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Quote:

Work consumes all! Well, nearly all. I've been getting better and better at fitting game development into my daily weekday schedule despite working full-time, and I'm finally at the point where I can toot my own horn a little about it.

/me is jealous

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Yah, that's really cool mate. I'll have to organize squeezing as many hours out of my work-schedule as I can too. I should probably figure it out now, while I'm just starting.

Btw, looking really good so far! [grin]

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Random level generation must be the new fad in journal land! You are going to post about your generation techniques right[wink]

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Quote:
Original post by Sir Sapo
Random level generation must be the new fad in journal land! You are going to post about your generation techniques right[wink]


For sure. When I get to it, that is. [smile]

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Damn, that looks good.

I think your plot line should be about a young computer science student summoned to intern at RavenKeep.

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I look forward to your continued progress on RavenKeep. :)

- Jon

(Yes, I finally registered an account here, although not for the reasons that I'd like. :( You can IM me about that for details or just check my post history.)

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