Something small for Ludum Dare.
[Ludum Dare Page] | [Source Code]
Turn based action game.
Defeat enemies to absorb their power.
Destroy the mimic crystal to ascend.
Ok, I guess I’m making something for Ludum Dare!
This is an idea I had for 7DRL, which probably would have been much more doable in 7 days – it’s got the same ranged combat stuff as my bigger current roguelike, but whenever you take out an enemy, you take their weapon!
It’s feeling pretty fun and releasable right now, but I wanna smooth a few rough edges tomorrow and do some non-ascii graphics for it before I upload…
Sorta can’t believe I’m still working on this. Officially more than a month, now! It’s unbelievable how many things I work on that only exist because I thought they’d take 48 hours, 7 days, whatever. If I knew how long half of what I worked on would end up taking, I’d never start. I guess it’s a good failing, in that sense.
It looks like I’ll be taking a break from this for a while to go to AMAZE, where I’ll be giving a talk about how’s it come together so far, and where it’s going.
Ended up spending too long today messing with graphics, but I finally like how it looks. The final version will probably look more or less like this, I think.
The next big thing on my list is to rethink inventory management – the basic idea is that I want items and gadgets to be pretty scarce over the course of the game, and a limited inventory is a pretty good way to solve that problem while still letting you discover lots of new things as you play. But thinking about it, I’m not sure I want the hassle of stuff to pick up bringing up a menu and asking you to drop stuff and etc… this is really feeling like much more of an arcade game than a roguelike at this point, and I don’t want get in the way of that feeling.
Thinking of trying different solutions, like clearing your inventory after every tower or just giving you a hard limit on what you can bring into a new one – which is a hard thing to wrap a game fiction around, but solves a lot of the same problems for a lot less work. Maybe better solves them, actually. Hmm.
Still working on my roguelike! Although for various reasons, I lost a lot of momentum on it this week. Oh well!
I have a pretty clear idea of what a complete version of this game looks like, now – most of it spelled out here. This week, I mostly worked on the level generation, which turned out to be a pretty huge problem to do right. I’ve made an editor (pictured above!) to pre-design a bunch of tiny segments of levels, which the game will then put together in an interesting way.
I’m not yet at a point where this approach is making levels which are more interesting that the thing I hacked together on day one – but I believe that if I stick with it, this will eventually lead to making levels that are really, really great.
I promised to give a talk at this year’s A-MAZE festival – which is not a thing I do very often. (My last talk was more than two years ago). I’m planning to talk about the making of this game, doing a day by day blow of how it came together. So, finishing this by A-MAZE is the new deadline, I guess! Hopefully it’ll be done a lot sooner than that, though.
Right so, back to work!
Yay! So, the week’s over, and my seven day roguelike is now just a roguelike. What happens next?
I’m still planning to keep this game pretty small – it may not be a 7 day roguelike anymore, but I’m not planning to let it get too far into double digits. It’s definitely tempting to let this grow into a big elaborate thing – but this is literally my first ever roguelike, and I feel like I’d learn more by finishing it than by endlessly tweaking it. I have bigger ideas for future things. This was just a warm up!
Here’s what I’m gonna work on next:
Better level generation!
The current dungeon level generator is a thing I hacked together in day one – sometimes it kinda works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m gonna do a lot of work on making that better. I think a lot of problems in the game (guards getting trapped in little rooms, corridors that you can’t see the end of) aren’t problems with the enemy design; they’re problems with the level design. And they’re very fixable.
I basically can’t have enough enemies in the game, I think. If I want this to be longer, then I need a lot more enemy variety – also, bosses!
More items? Possibly also less items!
There’s definitely room for more interesting weapons and items, but also probably less? Having a bigger selection of stuff to try out will give me a better idea of the stuff that just isn’t any fun. Like, the dagger, for example – it’s way too overpowered, and using it makes the game a lot less fun to play. I’m also not so sure about the sniper rifle – although I think the pistol is great!
A better inventory system!
I think part of playing the larger, framing game around the levels is going to be making decisions about what’s in your inventory – so I’ll probably make that whole system better – and by better, I mean more restrictive. I want people to make decisions like having to leave behind first aid kits so they have enough room to bring a fire extinguisher, etc etc. Also, playing around with a hunger mechanic…
Finish the overworld!
In theory, the overworld should be difficult to transverse, and somewhere you spend as little time on as possible. It should also be as varied and fun as the levels themselves. The fire people are the start of that, I think.
Overall structure stuff!
I wanna quickly get this to a point where you can play through from start to finish – which means having some concrete GOALS. There’s a bunch of work to be done in making sure all that works…
Er, *cough*, forget I said that. There will definitely not be any secrets in this game.