Author Topic: 91, a browser-based RL in development  (Read 4169 times)

gsmith

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91, a browser-based RL in development
« on: January 08, 2011, 04:36:14 PM »
I've been working on this game for a little over a year. It's completely browser-based and uses HTML5 Canvas rendering. It has a modern setting, so you explore a city, get progressively better weapons such as firearms and smoke grenades, etc. It has dialog, story characters, side quests, shops, drag-and-drop inventory management, leveling-up with unique skills, etc.

I'd love to hear feedback from roguelike lovers to guide development. There is still a lot of work to do!

Check out http://startcontinue.com to play the preview demo and please submit feedback to tell me what you liked and didn't like.

Also, if you want to contribute to development, I just set up a Kickstarter project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gregsmith/91-a-new-old-rpg

jim

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Re: 91, a browser-based RL in development
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 04:40:14 PM »
Hi, so I gave it a shot!

I think it was Yahtzee who said that if there were a psychologist who dealt specifically with RPG characters, the most frequent problem he'd treat would be amnesia, followed closely by kleptomania. That said, nothing wrong with waking up in an alley and knowing nothing about who you are or what's going on. Things don't have to be fantastical in order to engage a player.

But things do have to be going on. I get the impression that someone's probably done something with your identity, and that might have something to do with all the police standing around. This can make for an engaging storyline, but that storyline (at this point) is mostly inferred. Aside from the folks who I assume are barflies at the beginning, nobody has much to say to you. I'm also noticing that you have to be standing on a specific side of a given NPC before they will speak to you, and that many NPCs either "have nothing to say" or are treated as though they are nothing more than wall space. There's lots of stuff like that. I have no idea how to buy from shops -- can't seem to interact with people on the other side of the counter, and I didn't see a "buy" key.

I figure this is because, as you've said, there's a lot of work to do. And that's cool with me, for sure. But I'm not really sure how to get going in this game, or what my impetus for getting going really is. There are a couple of more recent amnesia/identity roguelikelikes, Legerdemain and Dance of Death, who make excellent use of what I guess I'll call a "throttled storyline," where a CRPG is revealed incrementally (and in a dramatically appropriate fashion) as the player progresses past pragmatic obstacles. So far, with 91, I don't really know anything other than that there's a guy who stole my ID and there's a sewer full of spiders. So I guess, as a player, what I would want first of all is a reason to play; I'm not being sarcastic here - I'm talking about a reason why I should want to help this guy find his ID. Otherwise I would probably just have the character walk up to that police barricade and let them know I'd been mugged by the named NPC villain, then find a phone to use and call my fiancee so I could ask her to come and pick me up at 5th and Smith Ave.

What I see right now is a playable state demo with hamsters and rats in the sewer. I'm eager to see more, but I'm not sure what else I can say at this point other than that I wish you the absolute best of luck in the long and difficult task of coding an RPG... is there anything specific you're looking to focus on for starters?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 04:42:05 PM by jim »

Ancient

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Re: 91, a browser-based RL in development
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 06:58:45 AM »
The game has a hidden concept of facing. Unlike most roguelikes do it you do not press 'i' for interact and then are asked direction. It is the other way around. You first try to walk on counter to face the shopkeeper and then press 'i'. This will work. It may also be reason for the 'stand on specific side of' effect. You may stand anywhere adjacent to talk with people provided you switch your facing (that is, try to walk on a NPC) to point at them.

The game has pretty much to see. Skills, guns and other fun stuff just wait to be explored. Have you completed quest with squirrels? Quest about cavies?

On the other hand there is plenty of bugs and differences between demo and dev versions. Their experience level values do not match, transferred items work in strange ways (for example you get unlimited first aid kits because they have NaN charges). Also, sometimes you may not be offered a skill at level up. This is likely an effect of not having right stats increased. Make sure to save before reaching enough experience. At next level up your skills are not refunded.
Michał Bieliński, reviewer for Temple of the Roguelike

siob

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Re: 91, a browser-based RL in development
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »
i especially liked that it works so nice with browser resize. i can tell a lot of polish already went into it. i would love a wiki or some such for items and more info about the world.

Robot

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Re: 91, a browser-based RL in development
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 03:44:54 AM »
Just started playing it and I really enjoy it so far. I love the graphics and modern setting!

gsmith

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Re: 91, a browser-based RL in development
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 01:46:57 PM »
Sorry for the response a month later, I totally forgot I posted this!

The good news is that the Kickstarter project was a success, raising $743! Thanks to those who contributed :)

@jim

I think my main answer to your great feedback is "Yup, I have a lot to do!" I plan on going through all the completed areas to add more NPCs and better dialog. My first emphasis has been on making an engine that does what I want it to do, and the second emphasis is using that engine to make the world.

@Ancient

I'm actually phasing out the awkwardly hidden "facing" concept. In the current code, you don't have to face an NPC to talk to them unless there is more than one NPC near you. It also highlights the NPC and provides a "press t to talk" message.

Actually yes, the skills provided at level-up are based on your stats. Maybe that should be made more clear, and perhaps there should be skills offered at second level no matter what.

@siob

I actually have a private wiki, I'm thinking about making it public, or making a separate public wiki. I definitely want to make more information about the game world available in any case.

@Robot

Glad you like it!