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Messages - eclectocrat

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About 15 years ago I started working on a party-based roguelike for iOS. I've just released version 1.61 on iOS and for Chrome browsers at

Party-based roguelikes are fairly uncommon, so I had to make a bunch of design choices without much context for best-practices. In the end I really enjoy how it turned out, I hope you do to!

Traditional Roguelikes (Turn Based) / ARRP Mysterious Castle 1.12 BETA
« on: September 21, 2013, 07:19:11 PM »
Here is a modest effort to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of Mysterious Castle (and my own birthday!).


[NOTE: If the link doesn't work then it's likely a DropBox limitation. Please try again later]

Mysterious Castle 1.12 ARRP BETA edition for OS X

Programming / Re: Kohonen SOM in monster AI
« on: August 16, 2013, 01:31:40 PM »
I like the concept, I'm very curious to see what obstacles you run into.

Good luck, and post some of your progress here!

Programming / Re: What's the best simple graphics library for C++?
« on: July 24, 2013, 02:20:01 PM »
I think that if you want simpler (to use) you might want to go with SFML, I've heard a lot of good things about it. If you want to ensure portability to a maximum number of platforms (desktop/phone), then SDL may be a better choice.

Like I said, 'best' is flamebait :)

Programming / Re: What's the best simple graphics library for C++?
« on: July 24, 2013, 01:37:25 PM »
Best is flamebait :)

I like SDL because it is getting active funding and support from Valve (The Steam dudes), it supports a lot of environments and is really mature.

There is definitely a case to be made for other systems, but I like that SDL has been around for so long and still has very active development. SDL2 supports OpenGL and DirectX out of the box.

My 2 cents.

Programming / Re: Screenies of my cave generating algorythm
« on: July 17, 2013, 08:53:25 PM »
Cool, what way do you seed the algo? Seems like there is some bias there to ensure the elongated shape.

Programming / Re: Which Aesthetics of Play can Roguelikes Satisfy
« on: June 28, 2013, 03:31:26 PM »
When asdfjkl the level 37 dwarf fighter meets his end at the hands of some evil wizard, I'm 100x more distraught than I'd be if a main character in a "normal" game died during a cutscene or whatever.

This x 10000. I play my character with a sense of self-preservation, and it makes for great "stories"

Programming / Re: Which Aesthetics of Play can Roguelikes Satisfy
« on: June 28, 2013, 01:36:36 PM »
I like roguelikes for the hybrid fantasy-narrative and challenge. I love to create a story and mood based on my condition in the game. Surviving close battles gives me a feeling close to traditional pen n paper encounters.


It's much  better than the last one :)

Programming / Re: My roguelike lost it's lead programmer!
« on: June 14, 2013, 01:13:45 PM »
Also, often people like roguelike programmers are working alone, because their ego is too big for team work.

And we like to work at our own pace, and on things that interests us alone.

Why am I sad that this is so true for me? Maybe I should learn the art of compromise... :0

Programming / Re: New language
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:38:34 PM »
No war intended, just combatting mistaken perceptions/loose language.

@Xecutor, I can't fault you for your taste in language, to each their own, but I think you are being a bit hyperbolic in your description of Lua. It's no big deal, but I don't want a newbie who is on the fence to get the wrong impression. I'd always recommend Python over Lua when putting together a desktop application or patching utilities together, and recommend Lua in the one place where it has clear and unambiguous advantages (embedding into engines).

PS. Embedding Python is really a non starter (as of 11 months ago, have not updated my knowledge since). I had to abandon a good Python codebase 3 years ago because my ambitions to port to various mobile systems hit a complexity wall. Maybe things are better now.

@OP: That said, learn JavaScript, so you can come to first hand grips with terrible design decisions and appreciate languages like Python and Lua more :)

Programming / Re: New language
« on: June 10, 2013, 08:23:13 PM »
Just FYI- Python really is a utility language. Good for hobby projects, but it has pretty low performance compared to something like lua, which is also elegant in very similar ways. Lua is also industry standard for games, so... I'd recommend checking it out.
I find lua syntax ugly and way too verbose for a scripting language. And the language itself doesn't have some kind of standard 'ease of use' library. Each lua-based project invents it's own 'classes' and other infrastructure.
As for lua speed... Yes, in pure number crunching lua is good. But if you want to make some heavy computations, scripting language is hardly your choice. Other than calculations, when we use classes and other complex things, it's speed is more or less on par with python. lua's c/c++ interface is far from being convenient and far from being fast.
IMO lua is more suitable as some kind of macro/automation/plugin kind of language then something primary.

Syntax is a stylistic choice, and Python has second to none library support (the main reason it is used), but the rest of what you say is pretty bunk.

Lua really is a lot faster than Python, I know because I measured, and had to ditch Python after it became long in the tooth on certain computations running on an iPod touch. Another, less noted performance criteria, Lua fits with all of it's libraries in about 250kb, Python is comparatively enormous. This makes a difference on mobile devices.

Lua's C interface is also very fast (where did you get the impression it is slow? There is an overhead, but every scripting language that imports native functions has to incur a context switch cost), but if it's not fast enough for you then LuaJIT's FFI makes it insanely fast and as easy as writing C code in your Lua file. The C API is also simple enough to make a convenient wrapper in a single header file, thus removing error prone and aften buggy tools from the equation.

I don't really care what language anyone uses, but I needed to post this in case someone read your post and got the wrong idea.

PS> Have you tried to use Python's native bindings? If you think that Lua's C interface is inconvenient, then what adjective is reserved for Python?

PPS> I love Python, nothing against it, but lets call a spade a spade.

Programming / Re: Brilliant Observations by My Brother
« on: June 03, 2013, 02:15:29 PM »
I think I'd rather a Metroid like, but it's the same concepts I want to see, procedurally generated open worlds with key/item based advancement.

I'm testing my implementation of this right now and I'm starting to wonder why it is used less often. It took me wo weeks of brainstorming and two weeks of implementation (part time). It wasn't as hard as I thought, although there is still plenty of room for improvement. I'm sure we will see more games like this in the near future.

This highlights just what a wild west procedural generation really is right now. It will be a while before we have best practices and common techniques, but with CPU's at the speed they are now, you can do pretty much whatever you want these days, if you figure out how.

Programming / Re: Brilliant Observations by My Brother
« on: May 31, 2013, 06:08:00 PM »
Interesting that I'm working on metroidvania-ing my roguelike now.

It seemed a lot harder than it turned out. The important thing is to get data that is an actual graph structure and then use graph algos to ensure it works. My implementation is such that I have frequent insanity checks that trigger wholesale regeneration. There are too many edge cases to handle gracefully.

Regardless, I think that non-linear, looping levels are pretty cool. It will be quite some time before a world is generated which stands up to something like Super-Metroid, but I don't think it is out of the question.


The problem with procedurally generated Zelda is that the level design, powerup placement, side quests, and puzzles are the best parts of Zelda games.  Those are all things that human being do much better than machines.

The question is really can we get close enough to handmade Zelda levels to make it worth the while. With tech like this and this it might not be a far fetched as you'd think. I am assuming a 2D Zelda game though, doing it in 3D is far harder.

There is also the third option of using a good algo to generate a skeleton which a human can easily edit, and the fourth option of using pre-made sections in randomly assembled chunks (the approach I take with Mysterious Castle for indoor environments).

I love this topic, I think I'll start a dev thread on this later.

Programming / Re: Unique PC race abilities?
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:38:31 PM »
How about a race that gains different abilities (temporary) depending on what it devours? Some kind of soul-eater?

I agree with Vanguard regarding atributes, though I don't find them necessary bad, however there should at least be less focus on them.

LOL! Perfect, my avatar is a monster from the game, he is supposed to be the all devouring cube. I won't make it a PC race, but dang, I've got some monster designing to do!

EDIT: I'm going to make a RL style Kirby.

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