Hey, all! I know it’s been a long time in coming, but attached to this post is a map for a one-shot dungeon crawl entitled The Eagle’s Landing. The ‘official’ story is that this underground complex was once the temple of a forgotten goddess of night, but has since fallen to a group of bandits known as the Ragged Eagles. I’ve been designing it to try out the Dragon Age RPG from Green Ronin, but, of course, feel free to use it however you’d like in your home game (no commercial or public use, of course).
The Heroes of Greentangle is the current result of all my messing around with C#. The game is a tower-defense role-playing game for the Xbox Live Indie Community, and although it is not yet totally finished the framework is nearly done. Here is a picture of the first tutorial screen (using substituted art elements). The game will have a fantasy-sketch style that should make it look like a story-book.
“What,” you may ask, “makes this an RPG tower defense game?” It’s true that there are a lot of fantasy-themed defense games that say ‘rpg’ styled on them, but Heroes of Greentangle will feature multiple dungeons on an overmap that you can navigate, persistent ‘heroes’ that serve as your towers and can level up, and gold/experience that can make both you and your men-at-arms more powerful.
It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m finally rebooting this blog. I’ve begun work in C# again, and although I have scrapped Space Mercs I have been using the engine to create a simpler-style pick-up-and-play roguelike that should play as an homage to that classic CRPG dungeon crawl, The Sword of Fargoal.
Stay tuned! I believe the game will be alpha-level playable by next week.
Just a quick update: the tile engine for Space Mercs is coming along, but it not completely working yet. I have kind of an ambitious number of terrain pieces and possible layouts, so the amount of coding that it requires is significant.
I understand that I could simply go and change my map tiles to contain image information, but that wouldn’t account for new doors or corridors that it generates, etc. Plus, I think it would be a lot more trouble in the long run than teaching the program to determine sprite image for itself.
I am as partial to graphics in my video games as the next guy, although the ability to draw escapes me. I have mentioned before that I was considering (still am) commissioning some good, high-quality art for the UI, menus, etc. for Space Mercs. Earlier, I was planning on using ASCII art (as seen in previous screens) as the main means of displaying the game, however.
After spending today goofing around in GIMP, I have started serious thinking about drawing some very retro art, instead. I don’t have the skills to produce really high-quality stuff, but what do you think about this? It might be a little bit more fun, right?
Space Mercs now has more complex, DnD-like melee combat. The prototype game has been featuring a simple, no-hit roll melee system that simply did damage between 1 and whatever your character’s strength happened to be. Now, characters make a d20 roll whenever a character attempts to melee attack. The d20 roll is modified by your character’s BattleLevel, which is a facet of the game’s unique character-level system.
Here is the code for melee:
An entity calls this method whenever it tries to move into a square occupied by an entity of another team (the teams are currently only Players and Mobs). Initially I was going to have multiple enemy factions that would battle with each other, but I found that monsters would end up killing each other if the PCs waited long enough. Believable, but not fun. Unless I can figure out a way around that, it’s out for now.
Because of the real-time nature of combat in Space Mercs, I had to make sure that missing in melee is implemented in the game, although I was originally planning on having no-miss combat. Without it, the game runs simply too dangerously.
The thing that I am most proud of when it comes to the map maker that I have developed for Space Mercs is the way that the computer is able to create and adapt the tiles that are made in a way that makes them connect in new and exciting ways each time. Unlike in a game like Carcassonne, the “tiles” that the computer uses are flexible. What is an out-of-the-way cupboard in one map might be the crossroads that connects a series of dungeon branches in another.
Here is an example of what I mean. This map tile is really just a few rooms and a connecting (albeit not perfectly straight) corridor that lies between them. When taken into consideration with the rest of the map, however, we can see how the room in the lower left, which might otherwise be taken as an out-of-the-way corner of the map, becomes a dangerous thoroughfare with a doorless hole in its south side, allowing enemies passing by to see into your hiding place. The north-western room, however, was generated with a door in its west wall, providing blocking cover and making the room much safer.
By combining even a relatively small tile set, the way my generator creates connections means that no two maps will ever be the same. Even the strategic and tactical significance of a particular tile can change depending on how and where it is connected to the rest of the map!