Void Sanctum – 7DRL 2015, Day 3 report

Day 3 is at it’s end, and it’s been a troublesome evening. Alan’s version control (git) went haywire and he had to clone the repository again, manually re-inserting his changes. That, of course, being after we already had spent quite some time in shared-screen-mode trying to get Git into a state where it would want to Pull the latest version again. Grumpy old Git. We’re just glad this happened on day 3, and not the upcoming Sunday!

Being a family man, my evening also largely went towards family duties, leaving me with only a couple hours of effective work today. I worked a little bit on the graphical style of our ascii, added background coloring per tile and some scenic touches of sprites/textures mixed with the ascii. It’s fun to experiment with styles like this. The good thing with ascii is how informative it is; perfect in a game that’s all about your tactical decisions each turn. But as we’re going for a rather strong scenic immersion with the descriptive texts, it felt right to put in a few more graphical elements to sell the “view”. We’ll refine it all at the end if there’s time for a polish phase!

I also got a little work started on items, building on the entity system I did yesterday. I’ll focus keenly on that for Day 4!

Alan Charlesworth actually recorded himself playing what we currently have in his latest vlog entry, and explain some of our design ideas. As always, he covers his day’s progress on camera!

Follow us and watch Alan thread down this road to ruin on YouTube in true roguelike fashion as we try to make a game in seven days!

Previous reports from Void Sanctum, 7DRL 2015:

  • Day 2
  • Day 1
  • Startup
  • Day 0
  • Void Sanctum – 7DRL 2015, Day 2 report

    This report comes in a little late as I ran out of time last evening. Fixed bugs with area transitions, wrote some area specific generators and added the basic system for interactible entities with doors working. Alan Charlesworth sums up his own progress yesterday in his daily vlog.

    Follow us and watch Alan thread down this road to ruin on YouTube in true roguelike fashion as we try to make a game in seven days!

    Previous reports from Void Sanctum, 7DRL 2015:

  • Day 1
  • Startup
  • Day 0
  • Void Sanctum – 7DRL 2015, Day 1 report

    Alan Charlesworth and I have been slaving on last night and this evening, trying to force progress. While I’ve been working on setting up the technology for zones and areas, making sure Alan’s wordsmithing will present on screen the way he envisions it, Alan has been producing Area and Horizon descriptions non-stop. Prior to the start of the challenge, I also spent a little time pulling in third-party assets and form the meager foundation for making a roguelike game in Unity.

    Of important mentions, we’re using Text Mesh Pro for text rendering, ProD Total and Rogue Sharp as a base for our procedural generation, field of view and pathfinding, RPG & MMO UI 2 for UGUI, Icon pack for MYFG and an assortment of icon packs from Digital Worlds JSC for User Interface, Master Audio for all audio needs, Noble Reader when displaying longer texts and Visual Studio for Unity for coding and debugging.

    Follow us and watch Alan thread down this road to ruin on YouTube in true roguelike fashion as we try to make a game in seven days!

    Previous reports from Void Sanctum, 7DRL 2015:

  • Startup
  • Day 0
  • Void Sanctum – 7DRL 2015 startup

    As Alan Charlesworth mentioned in our Day 0 report yesterday, we are collaborating in this year’s 7DRL Challenge!

    We are starting now, just around 11 PM GMT, making Void Sanctum.

    We plan to report in here daily and tell of all our failures. Alan aka The Indie Ocean on YouTube, will be recording daily Vlogs (well, perhaps not that often) of his experience too, but will probably edit them and put them online after the week is over.

    Follow us and watch Alan thread down this road to ruin on YouTube in true roguelike fashion as we try to make a game in seven days!

    Previous reports from Void Sanctum, 7DRL 2015:

  • Day 0
  • Rogue Station, Patch 1 Release

    Rogue Station Patch 1 released.


    Patch 1 Changelist:
    – Shift to walk diagonally doesn’t have the same time-out as numkey diagonal movement.
    – Room in room placement don’t account for rooms placing things on top of each other, so in such situations you might get station equipment under other station equipment, or hidden under other things.
    – There’s been one report of trouble playing the game on Windows 8. Hopefully the new web player version will work, but this remain untested.
    – There’s some issues related to starting a new game after game over / game won. Shutting down the game and starting it again is the only solution for now.
    – There’s only a 5% chance for an air generator to spawn in a room, so on a lot of levels there’s not even a single spawn of air generators.
    – There should be a choking sound when you start getting into orange levels of choking due to lack of air. It’s hard noticing the messages in the log when there’s no sound attached to it.
    – Doesn’t support hjkl-yubn keymapping yet.
    – Pressing Escape while in a station equipment menu or ability menu should exit that menu, not take you to the main menu.
    – The introduction text says ‘wrack’, when it should say ‘wreckage’.
    – One should be able to ‘look’ at stuff without actually bumping into it to find out what it is.
    – Shooting could do with some improvements.
    – Need to take more control over how weapons, repair kits and broken equipment is distributed, so that all games are winnable and all games share a similar difficulty level. Right now it’s too random, and no guarantee that a game is winnable.
    – There should be a chance that a dead invader could hold a repair kit (searchable), to prevent no-win situations.
    – Need to tweak the Transport cost a bit.
    – There should be a rescue beacon counter.
    – Many minor fixes.

    Rogue Station, 7DRL Let’s Play

    Game Hunter has let’s played the game now:

    From YouTube:
    Space roguelikes are great because you already feel cramped, and this game takes it to the next level. A lot of the core gameplay is here and it plays really well! I’d hope for a little more to do with a couple of patches, but I think I could entertain myself with this for a good while as-is.

    Ideally, scavenging could be a little more intelligently-plannable, like being able to access consoles from all over the station that show, roughly, the location and name of each room. Naturally more items/electronics to interact with will pump things up, and making the station a bit bigger could address the somewhat-shortness of the game. The pace is fine, so only take it to its natural progression, but I could stand for maybe five more minutess of “interesting to-dos” after activating the end-game countdown.

    Overall Thoughts:
    Completely different approach this time around, and I think it paid off handsomely. While there could be some bits and pieces added, making a really nice 15-30min game overall, Rogue Station performs the various tasks of building a roguelike admirably, and it plays well to boot! Ultimately the gameplay is pretty simple, but you have to be constantly aware of your semi-invisible surroundings and approach each area with caution and restraint. The “countdown timer” seems awfully long, though, especially given what’s available to throw things off after it begins, but it’s a good idea with the right combination of additional obstacles. I hope to see this fleshed out over time!

    Rogue Station, SUCCESS!

    The 7 days of development is over! What a grind!

    I spent way too much time on the invaders this final day, when I should have spent those hours tweaking/balancings and just polishing the “product”, but I decided to go a little crazy and try to grind them in. The idea in my head was that they would add this cool extra dimension to the experience where you’re not as “in control” over the situation as you might be with a hull breach that just stand still. After a few failed attempts at an AI, I came up with a solution that worked, and the invaders will now hunt you down and eat you alive! They will also degrade any station equipment they bump into on the way, as well as eagerly consume your precious oxygen! Thus I think the invaders added some interesting dynamics to the gameplay that was really needed.

    I did also find time to add the shoot ability, even if it’s super simple it’s a little fun to be able to shoot these things at a distance. They probably won’t outsmart you anyway.

    I did some touch-ups to the UI as well. Initially we had the Station Power displayed as a percentage of the max power the station could hold at the time, but since every decision you make with respect to station equipment and gear affects power consumption, we really had to show the raw number, so now we do. I also added an instruction screen at the main menu that both gives the short version of the story/scenario, but also tells the player which buttons are in effect as far as user interface goes (keyboard-only).

    One of the technical mistakes we did (which is a bit Unity specific), was that the entire game was set up in a single scene, instead of letting the UI and Global things sit in one scene, and the game specifics that needs to be reset with every new game sit in another… so there are sure to be bugs in there now related to just that. When you die (or win) and start a new game, strange things may happen!

    All in all though, a great experience. We actually managed to get some gameplay going this year, as opposed to last year’s entry (Han Yolo)!

    Thank you Kenneth Gangstø for joining me in this challenge! A big thanks to Bill Lowe and Petur Agust for providing some artistic input and suggestions, even when our focus and time wasn’t spent there at all. A huge thank you to Mirko Ruckels for allowing us to use his superb music in our game, check him out at http://www.last.fm/music/Deepspace !

    I’ll provide the download links to the game itself in a follow-up post to this one (without all the development report stuff).

    Thank you all for following our progress, for participating in the 7DRL Challenge and good luck surviving the Rogue Station!

    Invaders eating my oxygen! NO WAY!!!
    Arrow in the kn... NO! SHOT IN THE HEAD!

    Rogue Station, Day 6

    The final day is upon us, but here is the last report before the final success/fail posting!

    Started the day fixing a lot of small issues with the new Transport ability, it now feels pretty tight! Started on the game event system, that will make things go horribly wrong at random turns throughout the game (not entirely random, so let’s call it procedurally). For now there’s only hull breaching, but I hope to get rescue/invade parties in too (but that will be a stretch at this point). Adding the hull breaching shed light on some issues in my propagation algorithm and the oxygen visualization was clearly not informative enough. I started interpolating a gradient map for visualizing oxygen values instead of just doing an alpha 0-1, and the improvements made to the propagation algorithm truly boosted that mechanic over the board!

    It quickly became apparent though that with hull breaching in, I would have to add the space suit. The space suit will spend station power to generate oxygen. Since station power is the most precious resource (well, beyond oxygen of course) in the game, hopefully we can manage to balance this gear so that you only want to wear it when you go to repair a hull breach. I also did another pass on doors to make sure oxygen, or lack there of, wouldn’t propagate through closed doors.

    Further, I properly integrated the repair mechanics for the hull breach, so that oxygen absorption stops and the hull breach effect disappears when you’ve fixed the breach.

    Another thing I spent an hour or two on today was adding details/decoration to the different room types, to strengthen the room themes and to tell them apart more easily, which is very handy when the “Hull breached in the Living Quarters!” message starts flashing on your screen. I added search mechanics to the different decorational pieces, so you can search them for repair kits and other loot. I also added a blaster rifle, but it doesn’t give you the shoot ability just yet.

    The last thing I started before the clock entered the final 24 hours of this entry, was to add an Invader event (similar to the hull breach event in mechanics), that spawns a group of invaders. They can kill you if they bump into you, and you can kill them if you bump into them, but their drunken walk is awful at best. We’ll see if I can find more time to add the blaster rifle’s shoot ability so that you can shoot these green invaders! The idea is also that they will degrade the condition of station equipment if they bump into those… we’ll see what I can find time for, because I really need to spend some serious time on the game’s multiple numbers to make the game feel a bit more complete… at this point there are some interesting mechanics in here I think, but the numbers needs to be tweaked right for it to come out strongly. Crossing fingers 24 hours with sleep, food and family life in between will be enough!

    Oxygen propagation
    Room decoration

    Rogue Station, Day 5

    Report coming in half a day late, but wanted to update on the progress quickly.

    Today was spent on a lot of different small things and small fixes over the board (didn’t want to save all of that for the last day). Actual working repair mechanics and equipment that would spawn with random conditions (some are working, some with defects, some broken and a few beyond repair). Ran over all descriptions for station equipment menus, and made the text more informative towards the mechanics. The cloning machine, which is your spawn point when you start a new game, is now in the game too. The last thing that went in was the transport ability, which allow you to “teleport” or “blink” short distances, with increasing power consumption costs. Quite useful, not the least because it makes my procedural placement of decoration/interior less game breaking if it blocks a path or something like that (yeah, we didn’t spend much time trying to get that placement look good). A lot of small issues with this Transport ability, because it’s a quite intrusive mechanic, disabling player movement, need to prevent teleporting onto invalid cells, need to give player enough information to use it, etc.

    All in all a good day 🙂

    Cloning Machine