Author Topic: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)  (Read 798 times)


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Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« on: March 18, 2017, 03:46:08 PM »
Hi guys, you may (or may not) know me from Javelin. Even though I should be working on the next Javelin release, which is actually 80% ready but a bit forgotten (and that is certainly my main project), I've recently had an itch that got me thinking of creating a side-project.

Basically, the idea was to create an open-source Decker remake that runs in the browser. For those that don't know Decker, it's a game where you are a hacker and you invade virtual realities to perform missions for fame and fortune.

This has also been a bit of an opportunity for me to study what's new on the web stack and I'm going with a component-based approach (using Polymer) for the view and a Javascript class-based design for the game logic, since browsers now have a pretty great support for the Javascript 6 specification.

I've managed to get a prototype working on the free GitHub working but right now all it does is let you listen to some hackey music  ;D

I'm also trying out a new management process where everything is a GitHub issue before making it into the game, which is something I'm planning to use on Javelin. Nothing really special here but I hope to conclude by the end of it that having a little bit of structure in this regard is better than just winging it, which is what I usually do for hobby projects.

So here's what the roadmap looks like for the game:

1.0 release:
  • Advance up to level 10
  • A city-level Web that you can explore at your own leisure (instead of Decker's mission-by-mission approach)
  • Missions set in that city (like in Decker)
  • Lifestyle upgrading (you win the game by reaching the highest tier)
  • Health management (both self-care and in a hospital)
  • Prepare to invade each system by forging credentials, doing perimeter research and more
  • You have your own virtual space and artificial intelligence to help you performing certain actions, like writing your own hacking programs and decrypting valuable stolen files
  • Getting caught and possibly arrested (and the legal costs to get out or lose the game)
  • Defenses on hacker systems goes from 3 types of static ICE to active sysadmins watching over their domains
  • Different types of nodes to interact with during your netrunning, both for fun and profit
  • Shop for software, hardware, cybetwear or build your own
  • Tons of character options as you advance through the game
  • 5 game-world factions, each with independent levels of like or dislike towards you

2.0 release:
  • Advance up to level 20
  • Contacts (useful allies in each Faction)
  • Many cities to visit through a world map
  • More background details for your character
  • More mission types
  • Edge dice to give you a boost on certain actions

3.0 release:
  • Play in a rock band to increase your reputation
  • More combat options
  • Gambling
  • Smart drugs to enhance your performance (warning: not safe)

This may sound like a lot of stuff to work on but actually, compared to a grander-scope game like Javelin, it feels more like a medium-sized project which I should be able to get rolling pretty fast. A huge help has been, again, the d20 system (which I use for Javelin too) - mainly in the form of the OGL Cybernet sourcebook , which has pretty much everything designed for me, making 80% of the work just a matter of selecting and bringing that stuff into code - the other 20% work being creating new systems specific to the game.

Visually, I plan to reuse a lot of art assets from Decker, so the game may end up feeling a lot similar (especially when netrunning), unless an artist decides to come along for the ride to create new images. I plan on using the web stack to create some cool effects as far as the UI is concerned but that is not a priority for the project (and I'm not very good at it either).

So, for now, I plan on spending this weekend totally focused on this project. I can't say what the future will hold and I don't think I'll be doing a rush to get 1.0 ready, unless this weekend shows a lot of promising progress already. This post here is mainly to gauge what the community interest is for a new cyberpunk roguelike-like - so please let me know if you'd like me to post status updates as I go along!

Finally, I'm going to cheat and leave you guys with a Decker screenshot, to be replaced later on with actual screenshots from the game. Since Decker is the main inspiration here, it should at least help people understand, more or less, what Infojack is supposed to feel like:

« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 03:55:51 PM by javelinrl »
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Re: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 07:12:13 PM »
I can't play. I have black screen of void dimension, do I need to install something?


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Re: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 09:54:36 PM »
Potential definitely seems there, even with my general aversion to web-based anything as an instinctual reaction.   8)
Brian Emre Jeffears
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Re: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 07:58:22 PM »
After seeing the screenshot I wanted to give you points for nice retrocomputing style. Might be a way to make the game look "good" (relatively) cheaply.


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Re: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 11:53:50 PM »
I did some progress yesterday but mostly tinkering around with all the plumbing (including getting everything to load fine on the hosting server, which wasn't easy). So not much in the way of actual progress but getting all the framework stuff done right so I have a clear path of moving forward with actual content, which in itself is a pretty good advance but doesn't produce anything material, so to speak.

Unfortunately, as I reached the end of the day yesterday, I realized Polymer, despite being pretty cool, was going to be more and more of a hassle as the project grew bigger. I was only beginning and already feeling this would be the case. - especially when it came to communication between components (which, as it turns out, is pretty important on component-driven development). I spent the last hours of the day looking for an alternative and decided for Aurelia.

Today, I woke up with a mild fever and spent the entire morning in bed before feeling better, which obviously has eaten away a large portion of the day. In the afternoon, I managed to convert everything done so far into Aurelia and I'm very excited and satisfied with it. It scales very well, is more organized, produces lesser boilerplate code and is much more compatible with the actual web standards. It was actually fun moving everything to the new framework, learning the differences and seeing the code get more beautiful and less verbose as I did it! Consider this was 100% rework of what I did before, I think it being fun is a good tell I made the right choice in migrating! Again: I've put a lot of effort into figuring out the plumbing so from now on all work should be pretty 100% feature-oriented.

Unfortunately, as I've said on my OP, this weekend was more or less of a gauge at how fast I could get things done, and due to all obstacles, even if I'm happy with the final outcome, I can't say I've honestly got a good feel of how fast this project could evolve, so I'm probably putting it on the backburner for the short term. I'll try to work on it on the weekends, at least, but can't make any promises.
Javelin, party-based roguelike (free RPG / strategy game for Win/Mac/Lin)