Author Topic: The Thirty One Lieutenants of Sorcerer Bedsui - (Squad Based, Java, Fantasy)  (Read 106 times)

stationmaster

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The Thirty One Lieutenants of Sorcerer Bedsui

About:

The Thirty One Lieutenants of Sorcerer Bedsui is a Java roguelike, created as a prototype to show off novel, squad-based combat mechanics. I am hoping to incorporate feedback into a more ambitious game in the future, so feedback is very welcome.

All combatants, monsters and player characters, move about the board like tafl pieces (or the rook from chess), only stopping when blocked by a wall, unit, or wandering into an enemy's melee range. In most roguelikes, the melee range for units are the eight immediately adjacent squares. In T31LoSB different weapons provide different melee ranges specific to the weapon type. Units, player and monster, are fragile. Any attack which rolls higher than a unit's relevant defense stat is fatal. My intent is the create combat that focuses on maneuvering and coordinating a squad of various weapon types, and where trapping enemy units is the primary challenge of killing them instead of relying on more hit points and stronger attacks.

Project Site:

I have a playable alpha, as well as a bunch of screen shots, online here http://antumbrastation.com/bedsui-project.html
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 09:18:00 PM by stationmaster »

stationmaster

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It's been a busy month for development.

Project Site

Command Line Improvements

Early feedback made clear that the typo tolerant features of the command line were hard to use correctly. Unless one is paying close attention, one might not notice the game interpreting small typos wrong (or against what one would expect anyway). This month I tried to improve the visual feedback and make it clearer what command the user is actually about to run, adding new color distinction to the auto complete.



What the user actually typed is highlighted in bright blue, and what the auto complete infers is tacked on in dark teal. If no command can exactly match what the user typed, the auto complete will show its best guess in yellow. Likewise, perfect matches are shown in green.

UI Re-architecture

I ported over the previously ad-hoc coded user interface screens to a more traditional Model-View-Controller architecture. It’s made for nicer, better tested code, and with the refactor it was easy to add a shared ‘help’ feature to all the user interface screens.

Puzzle Mode - Procedurally Generated Tactics Puzzles

Good games need good tutorials, and a good tutorial should feel like a natural extension of the game, teaching the player without them realizing they’re even playing the tutorial. Given the steep learning curve of the average roguelike (especially the Ascii variety), ‘The Thirty One Lieutenants of Sorcerer Bedsui’ especially needs a good tutorial.

If you’ve ever studied chess seriously, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a tactics puzzle. In a tactics puzzle, the student is presented with a board position and has to choose the best move to play, usually with the objective of winning a large piece advantage or checkmating the opposing King in ‘X’ number of moves.

I enjoy chess tactics puzzles. They’re fun in their own right, and they’re one of the best ways to improve quickly. More importantly, T31LoSB draws heavy inspiration from chess. If tactics puzzles can teach people chess, tactics puzzles can teach people to play T31LoSB as well. This month I added a new tactics puzzle mode, while not finished, is playable!





The puzzles aren’t what I expected, but not in a bad way. Unlike traditional chess puzzles, where deviating from the correct line is strictly wrong and an automatic failure, my procedural puzzle generator produces more flexible puzzles with multiple solutions. One of the solution paths is usually shorter, and therefore ‘better’, but the player can recover from a minor mistake. The only comparable chess tactics puzzles I know of are the endgame puzzles on Chess Tempo, which punish you for being inefficient but won’t outright fail you. Importantly though, the harder puzzles are genuinely challenging without being inaccessibly difficult.

There’s still work to do. I’d like a greater variety of puzzles for one. Currently all the puzzles use the same, empty 5 by 5 arena, so the puzzles only have so much room to be different. Hopefully, procedurally generating the arenas as well as the piece layouts will solve that.

Generating the puzzles is also slow. Not prohibitively, but it does take fifteen seconds to create puzzles with three pieces. I don’t think I can speed that up, but I can multi thread the generation to make the next puzzle while the player is solving the current one.


Avagart

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Huh, nice and original idea, it seems. I'll take a look when I find some spare time.