Random Action Arena Completed

Random Action Arena has been completed, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. There’s a procedurally generated arena and randomly spawning enemies for action.

Learning from last years mild debacle of a gamejam – and the first one I had ever taken part in – I decided to keep things simple this time round. You spawn, blue enemies do melee attacks, red enemies do ranged attacks. You’ve a choice of single or twin stick style input, but my advice would be to avoid single stick. You’ve a standard shot, special heavy attack and speed boost, the latter two recharge, as does health. The more enemies you kill the more time increases, the more time increases the enemies spawn. I could have kept tweaking to get better dynamic avoidance of my Ai but I’ve come down with the lurgy so we will leave this as they are.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeWj52nrKC0



All created with Open Source/Freeware apps: Torque3D MIT, Blender.

Randomized Action Arena

There’s some scandalous rumour going around that Darren Grey does not like action games …er well I’ve got some bad news … 😛arena1_7drlI had come up with a vague idea for my next game project, and always enjoying procedural generated gaming experiences I had been thinking about randomized enemies. Lo-and-behold the 7DRL challenge appears – the perfect situation to create a super rough and ready tech demo to try out my new game concept.

This is my second 7DRL, and after last year’s effort I’ve learned a lot … like keeping things really simple. So gone are the gigantic mazes and broken multi-faceted systems, and in is small and functioning. So this is a twin or single shooter shoot ’em up, based in an arena with randomized obstacles and spawning enemies.

Being a Yorkshireman (Yorkshire is like Texas only with drizzle) and thus a fan of the cheap and the cheerful, I am using the following free and open source apps:

Day One was pretty much spent porting the input system which I had previously devised and ironing out all the kinks which come with a new build of the engine. Long and not terribly interesting but I did have a moving cube at the end. I then added a laser sight because shooting at static targets was a lot harder than it looked. There’s a light attack, and rechargeable heavy attack and speed boost.

Day Two was has been spent creating the actual arena and coding a simple procedural method to loading obstacles.

Next up is the fun/annoying part of coding some AI to hunt and attack the player, and of course some sort of GUI to quickly explain the interface.

And here’s some video of a cube moving around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7sw9KGYkwc


Mutant Aliens! – 7DRL Success!




Well, there are lots of features I wanted that aren’t in it. But it’s playable, it’s very coffeebreaky, it can be very challenging, and it’s very prone to killing you just when you think you’ve won. Don’t let them get too close. Run away often. Use your explosives wisely.

I guess it turns out a worthwhile roguelike doesn’t have to have remote controlled brain slices.

Comments, feedback, bug reports, particularly along the lines of “Add in-game help as a bugfix or I refuse to play” can be posted here, or sent to quendus at google’s email domain. I’ll post to the newsgroup soonish.

Your dismembered limbs shake gently.
The hardest mode... just... no.


You wash the maa-kneent with Tx-PBS three times with gentle shaking.
Difficulty level 6 is winnable, but here's a time when I lost by a hair's breadth.
The ship shakes gently.
The easiest difficulty setting is so easy that I didn't even have to kill an alien.

Mutant Aliens! 157 hour prerelease

Prerelease version. With 11 hours to go, any bug reports, complaints, flames, appreciation, comments, whatever would be appreciated. In particular, is there enough information in the interface to address the concerns previously expressed in comments?



Tested on Windows, Linux, OSX 10.4

The ground shakes gently.
Destroyed the transmitter, didn't get back fast enough, aliens followed me through the door. Went out with a deafening bang.

Mutant Aliens! 151 hour report

Lots of progress. Scent generators do their jobs (when set on a timer), there’s a lot more information in the interface, the sound system is almost working (at the moment you can only hear explosions), holograms are almost working, monster info is displayed in a crude manner, and for the memory system to work I just have to hide the bits that are unknown. Messages and other big wodges of text behave nicely, there’s a speed system, both player and monsters can run, subject to the constraints of stamina (and running speed decreases as stamina is depleted). Screenshot and second prerelease will appear sometime-ish.

Still need:

  • remote controls
  • brain slices
  • working holograms
  • gradated sensitivity to scent for monsters
  • correct sound sensitivity (explosions make you deaf for too long, footsteps are inaudible)
  • critical hit system
  • option to pick up/put down/hide/activate/configure items (at the moment only throwing works)

Winning is now a bit too easy, because high explosives kill things very reliably. I’ll crank up the monster spawn rate when all the player’s nice toys are implemented.


Mutant Aliens! 125 hour prerelease


Apply finger to trigger for as long as necessary, with gentle shaking.
This is what happens if you hang around too long.



It’s playable, it’s winnable, it’s losable. There are invisible explosions. There are also lots and lots of missing features. But any bug reports or complaints or recommendations would be appreciated! I’m particularly interested in how fast you move when you hold a key down, because scent maps take a lot of processing and some of the intended features will require more scent maps.

Known issues:

  • Long messages and descriptive text don’t behave nicely
  • On my monitor, blue on black is really difficult to read (any suggestions for alternative colour schemes?
  • Memory is not bounded by number of monsters and items that exist, but by number of monsters and items that have existed in that run. I die or win before this becomes a problem, and the number of corpses you can make is bounded by your finite ammunition.
  • It is not fun to have to inspect a monster by targeting it and pressing ‘i’ to find out how dangerous it is.

Mutant Aliens! 120 hour report

Explosions are implemented but buggy, monsters can follow your scent, monsters spawn, you start in a ship, tab targets a visible monster, the objective (which I haven’t written down yet) is almost accomplishable but not quite with the present equipment (I tend to die with the exit in sight), and I’m marginally less hamstertastic than yesterday.

Mutant Aliens! 96 hour report

Urgh. There were some issues with a drill and some anaesthetic and I spent yesterday evening unable to concentrate on coding. So, little progress again. Things can be thrown, set to activate on a timer, and registered to the remote control but not activated using it. Hopefully today will be more productive, since I have an excuse to sit around all day. Hamstertastic.

Mutant Aliens! 73 hour report

No real changes in gameplay, but devices can be thrown, and they’re well on the way to being configurable to activate on a timer or remote control. Once that’s done, I can code up the effects, hologram projectors, etc. Then the fun starts >:3

Culture the brain slice for 73 hours, with gentle shaking.
Confuses or frightens creatures with a psychic sense. Like that guy from the infotainment datalinks.

Mutant Aliens! 48 hour report

Cool, sprawling buildings. Noisy radio receiver lets you get the distance from the target (could be noisier though, if I make it actually print out transmissions with a random fraction of letters scrubbed out). Monsters are using their senses, but not with different levels of sensitivity. Scent map is implemented, but monsters don’t respond to it yet. There’s a very basic system to generate a description of a monster’s senses, but not its (still uninteresting) stats. Source (without *any* documentation) can be downloaded from https://github.com/essarrdee/mutantaliens and compiled with make, though I haven’t included all the things necessary to get it to compile on windows. I’ll try to include windows binaries in future releases. No 72 hour report, maybe some number close by.

You gently shake the radio. The signal improves!
So that's what's been causing you all this trouble!

Oh, I forgot to mention – the code is like a plate of spaghetti. With another plate of spaghetti upside down on top of it. Spaghetti sandwich.