StalagRL – End of day 7 – Failure Written on March 16, 2014, by danbrown.
Several updates since the previous post but the most important is that at the end of the 7DRL there is not enough gameplay to call this a game, roguelike or otherwise.
There are two reasons that I can see -
Firstly the planned gameplay needed a ton of custom code. In a standard roguelike you can have a table of enemies and a table of weapons/armour and very quickly get thousands of interesting fights that can happen as often as you like. In a non-combat game such as StalagRL you have exactly one way to die (shot), and 4 ways to win (tunnel out, through the wire, disguise+walk out, hide in a vehicle) all of which need very specific code written to handle them, and all of which happen rarely enough to be important and often enough to get boring if they don’t have variation.
Secondly was the level of graphics. There are loads of freely usable RL sprite sets out there and we used one last year. But try finding 3d assets with a specific theme (WW2) that are also either public domain or creative commons. In the end I ended up having to make almost all of the meshes we use and I’m certainly no artist. We probably spent around 4-5 of the 7 days just working on the graphics engine side of things and that is still without any polish, just required work.
However, I’m still proud of it and we certainly both had fun and didn’t waste our time.
As for the updates for the last 2 days, we did quite a bit.
I added all the camp activities and the prisoners would obey them all and wander off to the right place on the map at the right time. These activities also governed which areas were out of bounds at specific times.
Guards were added with specific patrol routes around the perimeters and will chase the player if caught out of bounds. When caught they just show a message for now but they should escort the player to solitary and confiscate their items.
The guard structures were added as a single building which made things a bit easier although was one of the things that made us realise that random level generation would not have been easy. I built a large structure with internal rooms for the solitary, storeroom, eating area, barracks, office and commandants office.
I also rearranged the map a bit to add the large exercise area in a separate compound.
Rich got the item use system almost done with custom item handler support that would be needed for most items. The first real interactions were starting to be put in place such as a usable disguise and being able to hide items.
Plans for day 8+
We have spoken about maybe continuing this to a complete game. It might happen or might not. I’d be interested to see how it turns out with decent graphics, animation, gameplay, etc.
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