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Nytehauq

So you're a piece of text...

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Imagine a roguelike world where characters exist as...well, literal characters. You begin life as a humble "@" sign trekking through a text dungeon. You run into a hostile "p," and you have to fight it to the death. Assume the player is in a 2D world and that the graphics engine being used supports zooming and rotation of the text glyphs being used for graphics, along with coloration. How do you show melee attacks, projectiles, and death animations, using only text with the above parameters? How do you show character advancement visually? Assume players can equip various items in the tradition stat based character advancement game stereotype and that the game plays as a top down action/adventure dungeon crawler hack n' slash - rogue without the grid.

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Honestly, I would say you probably don't. The best idea I can come up with is to superimpose a red # over the character that got hit for a fraction of a second or something. Keep in mind though that I'm a bit of a classic roguelike fan, so I may be unnecessarily constricting my thinking.

Glad to see that you're working on a roguelike though, even if it not in the conventional form. The world can always use more ascii games.

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As to attacks and projectiles, you could perhaps specify certain characters as various types of weapon (especially if you use more characters than just those found on the keyboard). Special traits of these could be indicated by colour.

Thus, for example, a flaming club might be an orange '!', while an ice arrow might be a light blue '^'.

In order to animate it, I would suggest taking a Rayman-esque "floating-hands" (or, in this case, "no-hands") perspective: simply put, have the object wave about as if held in a limb, but do not represent an actual limb.

I would also suggest a particle system that uses characters in place of normal particle textures; a smoke particle, for example, might be a grey '#'. This should also allow you to simulate hits as "explosions" and "blood spray" (the latter, for another example, might be red inverted commas).

(If you want an example of character-based particle systems, I can link you to one or two games, one of my own included, that were created for a recent text-themed competition on another forum.)

Death animations are trickier, unless you allow for alteration of the sprite - having the '@' bend over, for example.

As to character advancement, you could perhaps use an ASCII-art paper doll to one side to indicate the player's current equipment, at least.

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