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Temp work and some other stuff

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Well, apart from the fact that the pay is awful, this week's temp job seems to be getting paid to browse GameDev all day. Very little else to do here as they seem to be having a quiet week. Hence my sudden reappearance on the FB and GP forums recently.

So I thought I might jot down a little bit about this new project of mine as per the screenies in previous posts.

I'm basically looking to write a sort of real-time rogue-like, but with graphics. I've always loved the idea of rogue-likes since, as regular readers of this journal will be aware, I get easily bored when creating content for my games.

I wanted to get a visual interface a bit more interesting than the normal ASCII and I was quite keen on smooth movement rather than cell base. I kind of think that having real-time rather than turn-based might make it more interesting as well.

So the very basic map, fog and pathfinding interface is now underway as per the demos. I want to get a few of the challenges out of the way first - pathfinding with multiple moving units in the map, and some kind of graphical depiction of ranged attacks like arrows are two examples of stuff that concerns me.

Once the basic skeleton is complete, the longer term plan is to build the whole thing on top of a fairly powerful scripting system. Maybe standard command-line compiler and virtual engine sort of approach, although there are some aspects to directly interpretting a language that interest me at the moment.

I'm also quite interested in the idea of having monsters or objects contained in their own seperate files, so that you could take an object from one dungeon into another, completely different dungeon and have it still work.

Kind of like how those daft Magic cards can add new stuff to the game, I'm sort of hoping that by having a script language to handle things like spell effects or weapon special powers and so on, it would be possible to design and implement a completely new and previously un-thought-of weapon or ability or whatever, and then have it work within a previously designed world.

My view is that the need for complex animations and vast amounts of content are the biggest barriers to me finishing large scale projects. Sir Sapo and Milkshake have both set me off thinking about randomly-generated levels and content and I reckon it is the way forward for me.

Single-frame, almost icon-style representation of characters, monsters and objects is also going to dramatically reduce the work involved, but I reckon with good quality game play, some kind of stab at conversations with NPCs and stuff like that, it could still be pretty cool.

I actually quite enjoy writing text content. I grew up writing text adventures and still consider some of the old Level9 games among the best I've played. I guess I should cover some kind of text output and menu system quite early on in this project.

So watch this space. Going to be slow progress on this one, but I hope that if it gets half-way finished, it may appeal to rogue-like fans.

Or I'll probably just get bored with it in a week and start something else.
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I'm really excited to watch this project of yours continue to develop. As I mentioned before, I'm a fan of the face-forward sprite graphics style from my adorement of roguelikes, so limited graphical prowess isn't a turn-off for me or a lot of folks. It'd be particularly awesome if you opted for some degree of randomly generated content. [smile]

Original post by EasilyConfusedOr I'll probably just get bored with it in a week and start something else.

I've found that a very large part of keeping one's self motivated for a project is one's confidence in one's self. Assuring yourself that you will complete the project and touting about your confidence and dedication on one's journal only serves to further boost this. If you write on here that you have no real confidence that you'll still be on this project by the end of the week, you likely won't. And that's just plain no good, since this is certainly the project I'm most interested in out of all of your prior excursions. [smile]

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Yeah, you're quite right with the second point. Just my sense of humour, I guess.

So: This is a fantastic project which I fully intend to complete. I intend to keep it alive even if I get sidetracked by other projects.

With this in mind, I plan tonight to move all of the external libraries (of mine) that it uses into project-local versions, so if I do get distracted by another project and start buggering about with my libraries, Imp won't be affected (Side note: Orc and Udo probably won't compile anymore [smile]).

My long term dream is to get this game on the cover disc of a mainstream UK PC games magazine in the indie section, and for it to have a dedicated website.

I then intent to populate this website with vast amounts of pay-per-click advertising, wait a year, then retire.

[I'm serious about all of the above except the last point].

Thanks, as always, for the motivational boot up the backside, HD.

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