Temple of The Roguelike Forums

Game Discussion => 7DRLs => Topic started by: jere on March 17, 2016, 03:01:40 PM

Title: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on March 17, 2016, 03:01:40 PM
A game about time travel. Your goal is to track down 5 legendary artifacts, so it's somewhat of a mystery game. And you should use pen and paper!

Features a Qud style world map, procedural history with hundreds of NPCs, procedural books, and dirt simple combat.

http://humbit.com/shadow/

After 4 times doing 7drl, this is the closest I came to declaring failure, but after all the game had a lot of cool stuff and there was a working victory condition:

Quote
As far as the development, it was very tough. I knew it was an ambitious idea, but the difficulty of writing the time travel, fixing unending bugs, and managing the RNG (so that history was guaranteed to repeat itself unless you intervene) was a shock.

I also spent a lot of time fiddling with pathfinding, because I was trying to do some stupid things and I had forgotten a bit about how A* worked. At one point, I was trying to pathfind NPCs at a distance of 1000 tiles (which I figured was reasonable) and was totally perplexed at why rot.js was visiting 4.5 million tiles to accomplish this! Turns out that this is sort of the expected result when one is using manhattan distance. I spent a whole night trying to write my own pathfinding, which sort of worked but was buggy, before finally breaking the pathfinding down into chunks. The chunking method worked fine. All in all, I spent about 5 days on a single feature: getting NPC heroes to walk from their city to a dungeon, climb to the bottom, try to fight a boss, and return if successful.

As you can guess, the game didn't quite live up to what I imagined, though I think it's still pretty damn cool. I spent the last few days after the challenge fixing bugs and polishing it, which I feel a little guilty about. But I simply had to revisit it to get some closure.

So I put out v1.2 this morning. I'm much happier with it.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on March 21, 2016, 04:39:47 AM
Just released v1.3 (http://humbit.com/shadow/).

The victory condition was actually bugged. You could get there, but nothing would happen. Darn!

Also, in general, I felt the game was too hard. When I first started the project, I was worried about making clues too obvious. But after some serious thought I am much more concerned about clues being ambiguous and wasting the player's time. The game should be much easier now. Feedback is appreciated.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: Avagart on April 01, 2016, 11:27:54 AM
What's about standalone offline build? IIRC you wrote about it some time ago... ;)
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on April 01, 2016, 02:13:22 PM
Did I?

Since I used Pixi this year, building out standalones is quite a bit more time consuming. Maybe I can get out some builds this weekend.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: Avagart on April 01, 2016, 02:50:31 PM
IIRC you did it on the game site for 7DRL version. Something like 'standalone / offline build soon' was written under 'play online now'. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: sokol815 on April 01, 2016, 03:04:45 PM
Pretty cool game. People who make games in javascript must be pretty cool.  ;D Something weird seems to be going on... I'm using Chrome on a windows 7 machine and Pressing '6' on the numpad does nothing, but all the other numpad keys seem to work.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on April 01, 2016, 03:24:01 PM
^^Oh jeez, you may be right. I wrote that at 8am after no sleep, so I don't quite remember.

Quote
Pretty cool game. People who make games in javascript must be pretty cool.  ;D Something weird seems to be going on... I'm using Chrome on a windows 7 machine and Pressing '6' on the numpad does nothing, but all the other numpad keys seem to work.

Thanks! Very strange issue. I have the same setup and have tested numpad, but I'll look at it. I'd recommend QWE/AD/ZXC or mouse until I can get it fixed.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on April 04, 2016, 02:23:03 AM
I've uploaded v1.4 (http://humbit.com/shadow/)

sokol815, you were right about the numpad problem. I fixed it.

Avagart, I added standalones. Let me know if you find any issues.


(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CfDkH3DWQAAeQ7z.jpg:large)
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on April 11, 2016, 01:21:04 AM
Wrote a post about the game's design and development: http://jere.in/time-travel-is-hard

I'm thinking about turning it into a talk at IRDC (US), so if you're going to be there and you might get bored of seeing it twice... uh, don't read it I guess.  ;)
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: sokol815 on April 13, 2016, 06:15:41 AM
I like the puzzle this game presents to the player. it's difficult. Well done!
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on April 13, 2016, 12:42:24 PM
Thank you! "Difficult" seems to be the consensus.  8)
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on July 12, 2016, 03:06:19 AM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CnIb7TXVIAQR3qM.jpg:large)

I did a sizable update to the game to address feedback received in a Feedback Friday (https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikedev/comments/4dv3es/feedback_friday_12_the_only_shadow_that_the/) thread on reddit. Also added some cool stuff just for kicks.

http://humbit.com/shadow/

Changelog:
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on October 18, 2016, 10:30:53 PM
Huh, I never posted my talk from IRDC here. I thought it went pretty well (a couple people I look up to said it was one of the highlights, so there's that).

Roguelike Time Traveling

https://youtu.be/WXEKtBQkCkI

And yea... I'd really love to keep developing this thing one day. I have lots of ideas and no time.
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: Avagart on October 25, 2016, 11:31:57 PM
I was away for a while, just recently noticed that you released standalone version of TOSTDK. Thank you very much! :)
Title: Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
Post by: jere on October 26, 2016, 12:47:38 AM
Ya, no problem! Let me know if you have fun with it.