Hellmouth + MEAT ARENA: Day Six & Seven

Day Six was, like Day Four and Day Two before it, a non-starter.

Day Seven, on the other hand, was a whirlwind of activity. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I knew that my time constraints would prevent me from bringing Hellmouth to the level of detail that I would’ve liked. I tried to focus on features that would be appealing in a minimal game. Color seemed the most obvious one, so I started my day off with that. Unfortunately, setting up colors in curses took way longer than I expected and I then had to scramble to make said minimal game actually playable. With about two hours left on the clock, and still missing several major features, I decided on the new theme: MEAT ARENA.

MEAT ARENA is mostly just a test for hex movement, combat, etc. I had planned to focus on dismemberment, but unfortunately, I didn’t get to it in time. Locational damage is tracked across all actors – you can see what it looks like on your character’s skeleton – but it currently has no effects whatsoever. I don’t feel too bad about this. Maybe next weekend I’ll release MEAT ARENA PLATINUM REMIX.

Despite being just a combat test for a larger game, MEAT ARENA is winnable. There are a few bugs that might prevent it, but if you can manage to kill all your enemies, you will be able to see a victory screen! Or, if you’d prefer, you can die and see the loss screen. Two endings, wow!

If you want to try MEAT ARENA, you’ll need to clone it from my GitHub repo. It uses Python, requires curses, and I haven’t tried it on anything other than Linux. The only commands are q/esc (quit) and numpad keys (move) – note that the numpad keys are checked as numbers for ease of programming, so you might need to toggle num lock.

Disclaimer: I had MEAT ARENA playable by the end of my 7DRL, but I ended up going over by an hour due to various bugs I introduced in adding a title screen, win condition, etc. I still count it as a win, though.

I feel pretty drained after the past week. I’ve spent a lot of time coding – enough to actually make my eyes hurt – and even when I wasn’t in front of a computer I was taking notes or even writing code out. I’d guess that I have thirty pages of Hellmouth notes in my notebook, about half of which are unimplemented.

Unlike last year, though, I don’t feel burnt out. Python is immensely more fun to code in than Java, and I’m a better programmer than I was a year ago, so I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of putting together a game from scratch. I won’t keep up this level of intensity in future work on Hellmouth, but I feel like I’ll actually continue to work on it rather than letting it gather dust like I’ve done with Glyph.

If I have time next week, I plan to post more of what I’ve learned from this 7DRL. For now, though, it’s time to relax! I’ll leave you with some images from earlier in the day, before the MEAT ARENA change:


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