The Ring of Spirits: Awakening

My first ever 7drl. My first ever game. Heck, my first ever major programming project!

The Ring of Spirits is my attempt to bring meaningful storytelling to roguelikes while preserving the principal focus on combat and exploration. To this end, I will be ditching ASCII, as well as graphics in favour of text. But wait! Before you write my game off as ‘another IF-Roguelike hybrid’, here is the design I have come up with:

  • A Schematic map

Having grown up reading fantasy novels, parchment maps have always enamored me, communicating the mystery and the feel of a magical world, while stimulating the imagination. The Ring of Spirits will too sport a parchment style map, saving the trouble of remembering where exactly you were at the moment. While originally I had planned on implementing a full scale overworld, I have now pared down the idea to the scope of a 7drl, settling down on caves and dungeons only to begin with.

  • No parser

I have never been a fan of parser based games that force you to guess the valid actions in every situation. The game will feature clickable actions instead, providing a more streamlined experience.

  • No Micromanagement

I absolutely hate micromanagement. I mean, why do I have to instruct each and every action of the character? There will be no explicit inventory management, food pickups, tile by tile movement….. et cetera. You will be responsible for only high level decisions, like which place to visit, which enemy to target, and the game will take care of the rest.

  • No Keyboard

This is going to hurt a lot of veterans. I totally dislike the idea of a complex UI that necessitates the memorization of a bunch of keys to be able to interact with speedily enough. Instead, I will have a minimalistic set of mouse (or  touch) controls, keeping in with the overall simplicity of the game.

  • Combat is not a numbers game

I like the way books treat combat- “He brought down his sword in a wide arc, ripping through the orc’s chest” as opposed to “You hit the orc. 10 points of damage! The orc dies.” This will be me approach in the game: Whatever number crunching will be performed, will happen under the hood, exposing only the results to the player in the form of narrative.

  • Magic feels like Magic

This is one of my strongest motivations in making this game. Most games treat magic is just another fancy way of dealing damage, or causing buffs. Magic has been stripped of all its wonder, and reduced to numbers. Magic in Rings of Spirits will be more wonderful, yet delightfully subtle.

  • Items are not just stat sheets

First up, if you are looking for tons of items, you will not find it here. Since the inventory management is supposed to be mostly automatic, mundane items like the armor and the common place iron swords will be intrinsically acquired. The items you find in the secret places of the world will be unique artifacts of ancient heroes, with their own stories, names, and powers. These items will be persistent, and obtainable by successive incarnations of the player.

  • The World will not wait for you

A thing you take for granted in most RPGs is the linearity of the narrative; the town you have to save will conveniently totter on the brink of destruction indefinitely, until you see it fit to pay a visit. Not in this game. The events of the game, and characters driving them, are self sufficient, and would proceed forward while you are engrossed elsewhere. Likewise, the death of a character will not spell a gameover, or as in a roguelike, be irrelevant, but rather have dire ramifications for the storytelling and the world. Likewise, the victories of each character too have an effect on the world even after their death, allowing for the continuity through permadeath.

That’s all for now. While I originally planned for an overworld spanning multiple continents, twenty-five classes including a Dragon rider and a summoner, I have cut down on my objectives for this 7drl. Even then, I am not really sure I will be able to complete the challenge in time, given my inexpertise and lack of time to devote to it. Even so, I had to begin somewhere, and even if the project turns into a seventy day challenge, I will make it!

Hireling is ready to retire – 7drl 2017

So, next year, next 7drl. I’d say 2017 is a bit exeptional for me. At first, I was planning to take break on 7drls this year… But I got interesting idea and I didn’t manage to resist.

 

I used to work with python, and well-known roguebasin python+libtcod tutorial’s architecture. First time, in 2013, I was learning about writing roguelike game – Jotaf’s creation is great for starting project. Also, it’s decent architecture which just works, I was introducing own changes to the core of, say, engine. Just it, that codebase base is really good foundation for 7drl.

 

But, this year, I decided to change something. I’m going to use Go programming language, and make whole project open source. Hireling… will be my first big project in Go, so it’s more than likely that sources will be full of spaghetti and unidiomatic code. Altought, there are very small amount of Go games, so I hope that open sourcing my 7drl have some sense. Also, this language is great for multi-platform support, so I’m gonna release Windows version as well as Linux and OSX build. It’s possible that I’ll make builds for another OS’s, but I can’t guarantee that they are going to work in proper way.

 

But, what Hireling is ready to retire is gonna be? I have plan to make roguelike and interactive fiction crossover. Text interface, lots of descriptions (I’m cooperating with Kuba ‘coran’ Kowalik due his high English skills), maybe some ASCII art. 5 levels of dungeon, overworld city, hack and slash, some simple randomly generated quests. Nothing really big and unrealistic – I hope that the scope is small enough for 7drl, it’s my weak point.

 

I took inspiration from IF-roguelike Kerkerkruip (such a great game!), Mordor / Demise dungeon crawler games, and my old, unreleased Witcher-inspired project (which was inspired by good, old Darklands). I’m going to use some previously written code – parts about terminal handling (cross-platform text coloring, clearing terminal, etc). If I’d use ASCII art, probably most of them also were created some time ago. All mechanics and other game-specific content will be created from scratch. I’m going to post updates on my facebook page.

 

I’m really tired (and a bit drunk) now (1 PM here), so – I’ll start tomorrow. Also, I’m sorry for all mistakes and grammar errors, my English is a bit (?) rusty, unfortunately.

Good luck to all participiants!

The challenge begins!

This year’s challenge runs from Saturday 4th through Sunday 12th of March 2017. You can choose any 168-hour window within this period to develop your roguelike. (More information is available on the RogueBasin wiki. You can sign up for 7DRL-related notifications here; also, don’t forget we have a Facebook page!)

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Don’t forget to register your roguelike for 2017, and share a link to this page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.!

This year’s challenge: 4–12 March 2017

This year will feature the 13th Seven Day Roguelike Challenge, where developers are invited to make a new roguelike in 7 days. Voting has completed, and this year’s challenge will take place 4–12 March 2017.

More information is available on the RogueBasin wiki.

You can sign up for 7DRL-related notifications here.

Also, don’t forget we have a Facebook page!