The main addition today was items. Items provide the game’s progression system – collecting them permanently unlocks new abilities or upgrades existing ones, but in order to get them you’ll need to deviate from the most direct route across the web to the exit, putting yourself at greater risk. I’ve put in a simple little help system that pops up and gives you a brief description of what each item does the first time you pick it up.
I have also added in a new ability and a few new enemy types, although I’m not entirely satisfied with how any of these are working just yet and might have to trash them if I can’t find a way of making them a bit more balanced.
In other bad news: the game appears to be haunted now. Sometimes it seems that enemies are being spawned but for some reason remaining invisible, meaning that the first thing the player knows about it is when they suddenly drop dead for no reason. This is a fairly serious bug, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what is causing it. Job for tomorrow…
The main additions today were the ability to move between levels and the implementation of the basic suite of special powers. You can now shoot web lines to create new threads in the web and to temporarily tie up enemies, you can cut threads and you can pull on them to adjust the geometry of the level to your advantage. I’m considering leaving out any direct attack options for the player and make it so that they have to rely on abilities like these to make it through the level. That may end up making things a bit too hard, though.
Today I implemented the basics of gameplay, including player movement, enemy spawning and basic AI. Enemies can now chase you around the web and you can kill each other. Even in a rudimentary state, the web geometry throws up some interesting situations. When playtesting I ended up almost completely surrounded by enemies and would have been totally doomed on a regular grid, but managed to save myself by cutting across the centre of the web, which broke up the pattern of chasing enemies and let me take them out one by one.
I put the ASCII characters in there just as placeholders at first, but since I quite like how it looks and don’t have any better art direction in mind I may just keep it. The next five days will therefore probably be spent choosing a font.
My 7DRL attempt this year is Arachne – a roguelike that swaps out the traditional square or hex-grid map for a spiderweb. Beyond that I don’t have much of a solid plan – I’ll be playing most of the rest of the design by ear.
Most of day 1 was spent setting up a procedural generation routine for spiderwebs and building the dynamic relaxation engine necessary to get them to deform under gravity.
Of course, what can be created can also be destroyed:
This update does not add any new content, but it brings the benefit of some more playtesting time to balance, bugfix and tweak some things to give a slightly better experience. Of course, the good old 7-day version is still available.
In other news: ahead of the official judging process (in which I am also taking part) I have just posted a set of quickie mini-reviews of some of the other 7DRLs that I’ve played so far:
Almost there! I’ve now got almost everything I want in there, including four distinct ‘zones’ each with their own boss. This is just as well, since I won’t have much time to work on it today – I’m hoping to just have a few hours this evening to hook everything together, cram in a last few features and hopefully do some testing before I release.
Also, since a five minutes googling session revealed no other game with that name, I’ve dropped the ‘Space’ part of the name and am now just going with ‘Hellion’.