Temple of The Roguelike Forums

Development => Development Process & non-technical => Topic started by: Nomad on September 16, 2015, 03:43:19 PM

Title: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 16, 2015, 03:43:19 PM
Hey community! My name is Ian MacKenna aka Nomad.

I've been walking around for the past three years, living out of a backpack, mostly in the forest, eating berries, practicing shamanism, etc, you know how it is.

Several years ago I started a project called AstralHexRL, a graphical RL with hex tiles... Aspects of the project were getting too tricky (line of sight on hex-grid, ARGH!) to handle (computationally intense) and it didn't seem worth it to spend that much effort to produce a serious game for deployment to PC only... Game faded away...

So after a few years of "finding myself", living a real life RL, I've found my way back to society and noticed that the development tools have been advancing steadily along!

Just in time, it seems, I've found my way back to game development... And today I am making the first official announcement of a new RL in development, currently code-named: Project Nomad

The game is programmed primarily in Java using the libgdx framework, which allows for simultaneous deployment to Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, etc. I've been working in the game for the past few weeks and am pretty serious about it. (5+ hours a day coding) No worthwhile screenshots just yet, but a playable demo should be released within the month.

Some features of this game:
Extremely lightweight, highly procedurally generated (Overworld, Dungeons, Items, etc), very dynamic environment, highly expandable through scriptable content, awesome pixel art (by me, and perhaps others as the game grows), flexible skill system which allows for adding skills over time, complex AI profiles, etc...

And there's MORE! But that's a secret for now.

I am FULLY QUALIFIED to produce this game, at least to the point where beta testers become involved. At some point I will also have to enlist the help of a 'sound guy', and probably seek out a few people to generate a serious core of content. A little ways away from that point, although the game is looking great so far...

So... I guess this post is really more of a teaser than anything else...  ;D

More to come...
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: getter77 on September 16, 2015, 04:44:57 PM
Good idea on the libgdx front---attack a wide swath with fervor.   :)
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Krice on September 16, 2015, 09:32:34 PM
Extremely lightweight, highly procedurally generated (Overworld, Dungeons, Items, etc), very dynamic environment, highly expandable through scriptable content, awesome pixel art (by me, and perhaps others as the game grows), flexible skill system which allows for adding skills over time, complex AI profiles, etc...

So you were eating berries. I wonder what kind of berries.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 18, 2015, 06:37:09 PM
Ahh right, Mr. Cynical, I remember yoouuu! But it's all good brah, I ain't no noob programmer. (But yeah, the good ones... And cactus, all kinds of magical plants actually... =D)

I've done all of this shit before - a LOT.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: getter77 on September 18, 2015, 08:32:27 PM
By definition, no person content with the standing, present reality would endeavor upon a mega-project like this in the first place!   :P
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 18, 2015, 09:22:54 PM
Lol, right getter... The world needs a serious roguelike for android, iOS, etc... it's time.

And anyway, let's look at each of these 'lofty goals'...

Extremely lightweight - It's lightweight because of procedurally generated and scriptable content. The engine is what I was referring to, the game itself will of course have scripted data, pixel art, and music... Roguelikes are usually lightweight, nothing unusual here..

Highly procedurally generated (Overworld, Dungeons, Items, etc) - Will focus on Overworld and Dungeons for first release... Item system is going to be in-depth but for a later day.. I wrote a tutorial on random map generation like 6 years ago that people seemed to appreciate... I've made random overworld generators and random dungeon generators a dozen or more times, even on hexagonal grids... kid stuff!! Old hobby, and I dream in code.

very dynamic environment - by this I mean, trees burn (fires can spread), rock can be mined, walls can be built, all simple stuff.

highly expandable through scriptable content - i wrote my first scripting language for an rpg game when I was 15... I've updated my design pattern theory significantly since then... Already have an awesome structure for the language modeled out, implementation will be easy.

awesome pixel art - I am an awesome artist. Regarding pixel art, my most notable creation was the tileset for the under-appreciated roguelikelike, Legerdemain, some 1200 or so *beautiful* tiles, if I do say so myself. I mean... Most people don't get far enough into the game to appreciate the graphics but... it's a fucking rad tileset.

flexible skill system which allows for adding skills over time - again, easy, by that I mean essentially that a skill (which generally performs a scripted action on execution, though not always) which has experience, leveling system, etc... Add a new skill to the skills list, actual coding will be minimized...

Complex AI profiles, etc... Last AI system I wrote was for hexagonal tiles which was *way* more complicated than a grid-based world... It included many behavior types like, Aggressive, Wait Until Attacked, Coward, etc... That was like 6 years ago... I'm a little better at that stuff now...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDtEvpKV7-8
That game even supported an ally (a dog)...


Soooo basically, what I'm getting at is...
By making the engine scriptable and procedurally generated, it actually makes it *way* easier to create...
and also, maybe we should all eat a few berries once in a while...  8)

and ONE MORE THING

how about a little encouragement, sheesh!!

now, excuse me, back to development...!
<3
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: AgingMinotaur on September 18, 2015, 11:05:30 PM
Heh. I remember anticipating AstralHexRL, and I like berries, so full speed ahead, I say. Re: the ease of writing a very lightweight procedural RL (and sorry for going off topic), I still keep a special place in my heart for old, abandoned World of Rogue (http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=World_of_Rogue), with assertions that it "should also be fairly simple to code, consisting only of an engine and data generators" and that "there should be a working version out by the end of the year" made by developer Gamer2k4 (who by the way also wrote some interesting pieces back in the day; World of Rogue strikes me as clearly a parody).

I might get back on topic when you start posting updating ;) Best of luck in the meantime.

As always,
Minotauros
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: getter77 on September 18, 2015, 11:15:31 PM
In addition to your recommended backlog, I'd say it is also worthwhile to check the vids from IRDC this year that went down in Atlanta---Bob's and Jim's especially seem handily relevant to your labors to come, but all are spiffy food for thought:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNLzpFdhCqk2HKId_glRexeI-zORKDhIk

Thanks for the reminder on Legerdemain, between that and your YT channel the various hazy memories are coalescing moreso.   :D

Pixel front:  What's the plan here as far as contending with screen size and resolution interface?  As you are doing pixel as opposed to vector art, I'd imagine you have some sort of scalers/filters combo reckoned to maintain a congruent experience for when this runs the gauntlet between desktop/tablet/mobile realms?

The usual top down or something of an angled view down viewpoint?

Using/intending to use the latest on LibGDX or hanging back to an earlier state of it?

Aiming for a "winnable" game or an infinite one of sorts?   Shorter game loops with progression unlocks or something monstrous like ADOM where it is all there from the start and the journey is long?

Sound reckoned to be A Thing?
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Krice on September 19, 2015, 09:58:08 AM
how about a little encouragement, sheesh!!

As a roguelike game fan myself I want people to succeed, but roguelike development is harder than it would seem to those who don't know a lot about it. Let's say you have experience from developing a small or even more advanced 7DRL game. You still don't know anything about creating a full size (major) roguelike. Those two kind of games are so far away from each other as development projects. But you never know what happens as people have different skill levels as developers. The URR guy is quite awesome if he can get the gameplay work with the stupendous size and complexity of the game world.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 19, 2015, 05:57:18 PM
@Minotauros:
Sorry that never played out Minotaur, AstralHex was looking pretty cool for a while there.. I was 20 when I worked on that project and have lived in 4 states since then, lots of crazy adventures... The game just wasn't meant to be... I still would like to do a hex-based roguelike someday, just keeping it a little simpler this time around... But I guess this is all talk for now, especially given my track record so far... Soooo less talk, more coding I suppose. :-p

@getter:
The UI can be scaled to multiple resolutions easily, and the world-view, ie, pixel art, will be scaled in multiples of 2 and rotated within the screen... I like that somewhat pixelly look, personally, especially if the art is decent.

Regarding viewpoint, wasn't going to mention it at first but since you asked... it is going to be isometric.

Latest libgdx - should be able to target the vast majority of devices...

The game will have an 'ultimate attainment', (a really simple "master quest" that doesn't need much of a story...) There will be a plethora of smaller dungeons ADOM style (generated once, then saved), accessible from overworld. This is all I'm striving for with the first playable version... It's actually rather generic. (or, let's say instead, classic!) Once that version is live (a year from now?), I can space out for another year developing content - that's the fun part - which includes quests (quest generators), a story\theme, etc, and will flesh out the world itself. (will talk with some cool creative types and dnd nerds, probably outsource a good amount of design just to get some depth to it all :-p) The goal of the game is to be winnable, but still enjoyable and with secrets to unveil even after the game is 'won'.

Yes there will be sound effects and music, although that's one of my last priorities for development.. will get someone to compose some original music for the game when the time is right...

@krice:
okay, true that... you're totally right. i've never completed a full-sized "major" game... (i've come close but the projects succumbed to natural disasters, etc...) So I guess I won't talk up my abilities any more than I already have.. I don't want to end up with my foot in my mouth over another piece of vaporware.. In fact it's a little early to talk about it, but I'll keep chugging along and I'm confident in my success this time around... (Lots of backing up projects, etc..)

Next post will have some gameplay, either video or a demo...
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 19, 2015, 06:03:46 PM
Oh and I'm still living out of a backpack btw... :-p Currently in Oregon, working my way south along the 101... I do most of my development in libraries\cafes along the way... Something about the lifestyle of a traveling\shaman\coder... 9-5s just don't do it for me. I love waking up in grassy a field, pulling the tarp off, rolling up my sleeping bag and choosing a direction... I think the discipline that my lifestyle requires is actually a plus for game development... (Even though I have to lug around this freaking laptop, keeping it dry somehow...)
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: akeley on September 19, 2015, 07:05:14 PM
@krice:
okay, true that... you're totally right.

No, he isn`t. Nobody who wrote a major roguelike has completed one beforehand - it`s a fallacious prerequisite :) There`s always the first time...
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: AgingMinotaur on September 19, 2015, 11:51:18 PM
@Minotauros:
Sorry that never played out Minotaur, AstralHex was looking pretty cool for a while there.. I was 20 when I worked on that project and have lived in 4 states since then, lots of crazy adventures... The game just wasn't meant to be... I still would like to do a hex-based roguelike someday, just keeping it a little simpler this time around... But I guess this is all talk for now, especially given my track record so far... Soooo less talk, more coding I suppose. :-p
Talk is also good, I guess, at least to a certain extent. And you're right about hex-maps being a bit of a hassle to work with. I actually have a hex-based rl in the works myself. So far it's been more talking than releasing (http://agingminotaur.blogspot.de/), although I think the next version is coming soon-ish; I strictly adher to the Slow Application Develeopment methodology1

Be that as it may, here is my take on fov on a hex grid (http://forums.roguetemple.com/index.php?topic=3675.msg31606#msg31606), which you mentioned earlier in the thread.

As always,
Minotauros

1 Which, speaking of berries, incidentally even includes the maxim to always delete all backups and start refactoring whenever one has happened to ingest some fly agaric broth ::)
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 19, 2015, 11:57:24 PM
Really looking forward to Land of Strangers, looks awesome!! Really interested to see how that plays out, your blog is awesome...

1 Which, speaking of berries, incidentally even includes the maxim to always delete all backups and start refactoring whenever one has happened to ingest some fly agaric broth ::)

literally LOLed just now, thanks for that =D
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Krice on September 20, 2015, 08:07:39 AM
Something about the lifestyle of a traveling\shaman\coder...

Are you a homeless person? What is that shaman thing, do you perform actual shaman stuff to people?
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 20, 2015, 05:45:53 PM
If you saw me walking through your town with my backpack, threadbare jacket, long hair and dog, you would probably label me as homeless. And if you're anything like the majority of people that see me, you will pretend not to see me and try to go about your business, or else judge me or pity me. You might even be scared of me. And it's true that I haven't lived indoors for over 3 years. I carry a sleeping bag and a tarp with me and prefer very much to sleep outside. I was born in Vegas, grew up in New Orleans, spent years in Reno and other cities... I'm just not into cities, or the system that it represents (the war machine, killing the environment, raping the land, poisoning the minds of the slave-population, pharmaceuticals melting the brains of my brothers and sisters, fucking profit and destruction and ignorance) anymore. I prefer to live with minimal impact on the environment, not living for money but for intense human interaction. (Hunter\gatherer\nomad style)

Yes I am actually a shaman, actually a healer. I know how to heal multiple diseases and have saved many people's lives. I've been initiated into multiple spiritual modalities at this point, and have been exposed to them since I was a child. I am what Buddhists would call 'self-realized', specifically that I've seen through the illusion of duality, recognized the underlying reality of consciousness (self) as the substance of the universe, practice Bhakti yoga and extensive forms of energy work. I see auras and have talked to spirits. Dealing with spiritual crises is my passion and calling. Especially since I met the Ancient African Grandfather Spirit and became Bwiti. I've studied Ayurveda, several forms of massage, advanced pranayama for many years... I astral project, lucid dream.. The organizing principle of my life is synchronicity and frankly if I told you some of my stories, you almost certainly wouldn't believe me. I've studied with Thai monks, Peruvian shamans, and actual wizards, not to mention several forms martial arts all my life. I don't smoke, don't drink, don't do any drugs except for puffing the herb and, in certain sacred contexts, imbibing certain spiritual medicine plants.

I know the path to samadhi and am a capable guide. The clear light is a clear memory for me. I'm a national merit semi-finalist, in the 99th percentile of my generation academically. I was a chemistry major for several years before I became disheartened by the self-serving scientific community who pay their rent with lies that don't accomplish anything of benefit to life. I'm an author, artist, musician, dog-trainer, lover of all life. Every violent thing I've ever seen I've interrupted. I'm writing this all down in a journal, and it would make the craziest book or story you've ever read. I am well respected with friends all over the country. I can go get a job (sell my soul) any time I want.

Home-free, not homeless, and I'm not schizo, not crazy - I'm just NOT SATISFIED. I live this way because I intend to make an impact in this society, and I'm DOING IT. Sure I could make millions and influence the world that way... But there is another path, much more Taoist... Something like zero-point energy. By having nothing there is another form of energy available. People who aren't as courageous convince themselves, "I'm going to change the system from within it..." That's not the way I'm going about it. I am light-hearted and clear-headed. And I know and live deep secrets of the universe. Most people aren't ready to take the red pill. Most people are not prepared for the ultimate truth, even though it's closer than all the scientists, scholars, and sages would have you believe.

But I want to be of benefit to this planet. So what do I do, save the whales? To save the whales I need to save the oceans. To save the oceans I need to stop nuclear technology and pesticides. To stop those things I need to encourage self-sufficiency, perma-culture... What is the root cause of all of the wanton destruction and ugliness on the planet? Human beings. Thus there's only one purpose to my life - ACTIVATION of human beings. I want people to turn their brains on, and even more importantly, ACTIVATE THEIR HEART. Most people are SO deluded by society, locked in boxes within boxes, that they literally don't see what's right in front of them. (Like, the suffering of their brothers and sisters is invisible.) And I think it's fucking disgusting. And yet I also live and walk among beautiful selfless activated people that society does not even acknowledge, that popular culture would refuse to believe even existed - and I mean DEEP, potent, aware people, who hold the keys to all of the mysteries attainable as a conscious being in this universe.

My purpose is to be a catalyst of the mass cultural awakening on this planet. This is the age of 10 million buddhas. Never before have we had this chance - we must take the next step in our evolution as a species. Or die painfully, leaving this planet in worse shape than when we got here.

Got a youtube channel btw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-s3wYWCCVU

Hope that answered your question...
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: getter77 on September 20, 2015, 07:16:18 PM
At minimum, the potential impact of a great Roguelike to inspire future generations to do great(Heh, not aware of anybody that has juggled doing outright obviously terrible things AND Roguelike enjoyment given the latter doesn't exactly leave much time/headspace for the former so...) and interesting things down the line, assuage at least some of the stresses for all that enjoy it, and poke folks general critical thinking and problem solving faculties with a stick a bit---all good stuff.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Krice on September 20, 2015, 09:38:17 PM
Yes I am actually a shaman, actually a healer. I know how to heal multiple diseases and have saved many people's lives. I've been initiated into multiple spiritual modalities at this point, and have been exposed to them since I was a child. I am what Buddhists would call 'self-realized', specifically that I've seen through the illusion of duality

Cool! But now you are facing your ultimate test, the creation of a major roguelike.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Tzan on September 20, 2015, 10:42:06 PM
Yes I am actually a shaman, actually a healer. I know how to heal multiple diseases and have saved many people's lives. I've been initiated into multiple spiritual modalities at this point, and have been exposed to them since I was a child. I am what Buddhists would call 'self-realized', specifically that I've seen through the illusion of duality

Cool! But now you are facing your ultimate test, the creation of a major roguelike.

Haha! yes we have to keep things in proper perspective  ;D
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Kyzrati on September 21, 2015, 05:07:08 AM
Cool! But now you are facing your ultimate test, the creation of a major roguelike.
Quite the punchline.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Rickton on September 21, 2015, 07:38:56 PM
-snip-
Where does making a roguelike fit into that?
It sounds like I'm being a dick, but I'm genuinely curious. The main activities in most roguelikes are hoarding material wealth and killing things (including presumably sapient beings in most of them). Is yours going to be different in that way?
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: akeley on September 21, 2015, 08:14:20 PM
Way I see it the -snip- was just an answer to Krice`s prodding, unrelated to roguelike development.

Besides, c`mon...roguelikes are games. The fact that I enjoy strolling through a dungeon surrounded by my undead minions doesn`t mean that I have a ReAnimator-style lab in my basement.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 21, 2015, 10:37:47 PM
I am @.

The game I'm making is about exploring, facing various challenges, growing in skill and awareness...
Same with life, especially the life of an explorer, adventurer. (I'm kinda like the dos equis guy...)

Also, my real life is quite magical (applies to magic system, lore), requires the consciousness of survival (combat), etc... My awareness of holistic herbalism applies to game mechanics... And more than anything, as a real life @, I can encode that vibration into the game... Believe me, it applies, though it may not be apparent at first...

Sort of how someone writing a story might develop an extensive lore from which to draw from during the creation of the story itself - even though many of the specifics are not present in the final version, it gives an underlying sense of coherency that increases immersion into that world.

My life is roguelike. And I'm a kung fu computer wizard...
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Rickton on September 22, 2015, 03:44:29 AM
Way I see it the -snip- was just an answer to Krice`s prodding, unrelated to roguelike development.

Besides, c`mon...roguelikes are games. The fact that I enjoy strolling through a dungeon surrounded by my undead minions doesn`t mean that I have a ReAnimator-style lab in my basement.
Obviously not, but Nomad said
Quote
My purpose is to be a catalyst of the mass cultural awakening on this planet.
That's a pretty strong statement, and I was just wondering if the game fit into that purpose or not, and was interested to see what kind of differences that would mean. The creator of URR's hinted at some ways the eventual gameplay of that game will reflect some of his own philosophies on the world, and it sounds like it's going to be pretty cool...whenever it actually happens. ;)
Obviously it doesn't have to, but I'm interested in games that try and push the boundaries, and Nomad seems like a pretty boundary-pushing person.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Gornova on September 22, 2015, 11:19:24 AM
Something about the lifestyle of a traveling\shaman\coder...

Are you a homeless person? What is that shaman thing, do you perform actual shaman stuff to people?

This is a crazy livestyle, but it's time to each roguelike developer to be more shaman!
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Krice on September 22, 2015, 12:11:25 PM
and Nomad seems like a pretty boundary-pushing person.

If you are on Jesus/Buddha-level you get 50% chance to finish a major roguelike.
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on September 26, 2015, 04:27:32 AM
Rickton:
Short answer is yes. The game will be very trippy.

I have a bit of a moral dilemma. If this game is successful by any measure, it represents thousands and thousands of hours of players' lives devoted to... what? The only way I can justify this is if the game increases awareness in meaningful ways. (While retaining fun) I'm exploring mechanics that convey real-world knowledge, ie, of herbs, and other subjects. The game may also deal with certain heavy concepts, such as addiction. Ideally the game itself will directly lead to various levels of self-realization... The game is targeted to a more mature audience, probably 16+, in order to appreciate the tactics of the game in the first place... Less cartoony graphics than many other options. The game is intended to have a spiritual impact, perhaps in similar ways that various cartoons have had.. Avatar: The Last Airbender comes to mind...

Also, and I know this won't be a popular decision, but please understand where I'm coming from... If I feel like I am harming the world by creating a video game, I won't do it. Video game addiction is real, and it's ugly. Designing a serious game like this is similar karma to designing a slot-machine. However.. recognizing that people will invent these games anyway, I've chosen this as an opportunity to introduce the concept of a gaming-governor. This game will have a 5hr play limit before the player is locked out for at least an hour with a message that says, 'Go Outside' or perhaps redirects to information about a healthy lifestyle...

I want people to pay attention to reality, to BE CHANGE, not get lost in games... Even if its a game I made...

For now I just code, code, code... The big picture will come together...

No this game will not simply be a soap box for me to philosophize... It will, however, be trippy as fuck and lead to deep, meaningful realizations.. or I'm wasting my time.



Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: getter77 on September 26, 2015, 12:40:48 PM
Hey now, have some confidence---it is plain as day that this, and by far most Roguelikes for that matter, is not at all playing at the same realms as slot machines, MMO-style whaling, f2p extortions, etc when it comes to utter contempt and disrespect to the prospective audience.  It can't be healthy to labor under an additional false Sword of Damocles when you've already got an adventure on your hands just from the work and scope of the game outright!   :D
Title: Re: New RL in development
Post by: Nomad on October 10, 2015, 10:19:13 PM
Update:

Progress continues rapidly... Everything going as planned...

Some things I'm playing with now...

Got a decent overworld generator... Continents, islands, mountains... Dungeon generator also works well... Working on regional 'terraforming' next, ie, desert, forest regions... Lots to do over the long term - overworld generator will evolve with the rest of the program...

Worked out the kinks with the turn-based system... Fully turn-based, ended up sticking with a variation of the Charge Timer technique (I love the mechanic that entity A with Spd 4 times entity B's speed may move 4 times before entity B can move once...) And yet this causes no lag with thousands of entities... Super happy about that...

Skeleton structure of the skill system, item system in place...

very basic proof-of-concept melee functionality... will have to do this for realz once the equipment system (mod stacks, status effects) is implemented...

Other than that, lots of work on the UI... getting everything to scale properly (message log, buttons, stat display) on resize events, all of that bs...

next few days are about the projectile system..

--------------

Major thought as to the purpose of the game itself and how this will affect gameplay... NF will be a true roguelike (proc gen terrain, permadeath, turn based) yet the actual goal is not the traditional 'retrieve amulet, bring to altar'... Without giving away too much, the goal of the game has more to do with balance within the simulation itself.. Something like a story line - more like a thematic context - has begun to take shape...

life is so awesome