Author Topic: Making a Mac Roguelike  (Read 10279 times)

DaedricPrime

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Making a Mac Roguelike
« on: March 17, 2011, 12:23:32 AM »
Hi All!,

I have decided to not do a different roguelike project, but am still very much wanting to do a roguelike, or at least an RPG that is primarily influenced ( >50% ) by roguelikes.  So I recently mulled over my options.

One of my ideas was to do a "Mac Roguelike", which would double as a way to learn Objective-C and Cocoa ( I'm a traditional C/C++ Windows and Mac OS X programmer by trade ).   I was thinking of something along the lines of ADOM, Elona, etc ( rpg-like roguelikes if you will ), tile-based, no "level cap",  a "classless" class system, non-traditional magic (Sound, Cards, etc ), a complex loot system, and  character-building "overland activities" (like building up your own estate).  [ Though I haven't finished brainstorming and pairing-down actual features to implement. ]

I realize that there aren't many Mac-based rogue-devs around, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to float a balloon or two and see what pops up!  ;P


Comments?


Xecutor

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2011, 02:18:07 PM »
I don't think it's worth to make 'mac only' roguelike.
The genre is far from being 'most popular' and mac is the platform that is not (yet?) dominating.
IMO it's better to make portable (at least Win,Linux & Mac OS X) game.


Fenrir

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2011, 02:47:42 PM »
It isn't worth it if he is looking to reach as many players as possible, but, if his goal is just to get an awesome Roguelike on the Mac, I encourage him to do so. There is nothing wrong with being an OS fanboy, so long as he isn't raising hell about it. I've always wanted to be a fanboy.

Quote
(Sound, Cards, etc )
Sound? How would you use sound in Roguelike magic?

BirdofPrey

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2011, 05:01:22 PM »
Making a small scale game for a specific OS is totally understandable but the kind of game you're talking about (which would be a gargantuan feat to program) would be quite a waste if you cut off more than half of your potential players. I'm making a roguelike on OS X myself but I'm restricting myself to cross-platform libraries and would advise you to do the same.

Of course, if your main objective is to learn cocoa by all means do a project in it but it doesn't sound like a good idea to blow your epic roguelike load on it.

DaedricPrime

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2011, 08:20:59 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback so far (it was more than I expected ;)

Some responses:

1) The one I mentioned here was a specific idea, out of many potential projects.  I can still do this idea, then later do a cross-platform RL.  For this idea, making it xplat does have many upsides, but the notable downsides for it were the following:  a) I couldn't really use Objective-C/Cocoa in a way meaningful enough to learn it as deeply as I'd like.  b) This idea includes playing around with the interface, seeing if I can use UI improvements to improve the gameplay.  I generally don't like the xplat UI/misc frameworks because they generally look clunky on all platforms.  I'd use SDL out of all of them, but I've never used it, while I'll be learning it'd be slow.  I'll also be slowed down further with having to test/support many more platforms.  c) There are plenty of RLs developed on Windows and ported. I feel that while mac users aren't as numerous, they are further under-represented because many don't know about DOS Box or RLs.  Maybe if there were more Mac native RLs the mac users figures being reported for other RLs wouldn't be so dismal.  d) A RL in Cocoa will be much easier to port to iPhone/iPad, if it turns out to be any good.

On the other hand, if the game is any good, it is possible it would be played by only 7 people, ;P   But on the other other hand, if the game is terrible, no one will notice. ;P    And I'll still have learned more about Objective-C/Cocoa.

2) "Sound? How would you use sound in Roguelike magic?"  --  I'm thinking of not having "classes" per se, but rather allow you to collect your own set of skills.  Magic would then have to be something you'd have to learn, and develop (more than just learning, investing somehow).  Therefore, I'm leaning towards "skill based magic".   The ideas I'm thinking about is to categorize Magic into Modes and Methods, such that learning one will make you less effective (and eventually unable) to use others.  There are three Modes: "Wild", "Eldrich" and "Resonant" ( respectively: elemental "control", self energy/chi use, and Catalystic use of powers/blessing from other beings to you).   There are three Methods: Runes/Cards/Etc, Music, and Enchanting.  For the first method, you are constrained to casting spells based on loot you acquire, but learning spells is as easy as experimenting, and "mana cost" will be low.  Usually a Rune/Card will survive the strain of the cast, and you can continue using it, other times it might break/etc.  These kinds of spells do not rank (except maybe char level or somesuch).   You can only cast one at a time, but durations can be short/long depending on the formula used.  The third method, is heavy on one-time component use (but some of the components you'll get from breaking down unwanted items), but allows for creating magic items that can be used simultaneously.  E.g. You can create/wear 20 rings (but (all?) enchanted items carry a sanity cost...), and therefore create spells with long long durations.   Still need to balance it, but likely it will reduce the rate of profit you could make vs other builds.  Also probably it will have the most skills to invest in, to get the most out of the method.  And when you get better, you'll mostly just boost the success rate of creation. [the components/host-item decide the power rating].  The second method, requires you to lug around an instrument, work on a play skill, and generally have only short term spells, but there will be some with moderate durations, and also a "as long as you are playing" spells that beat the durations of Runes/Cards.  You'd also have to acquire song sheets and learn them.  As you get better, the spells effects get stronger.   [[ To add spice/flavor.   Runes/Cards can be presented with different scripts/styles, Enchanting could bring with it lots of different kinds of materials/receipes, and Sound could possibly allow for different music files being played.   Under the hood, the systems could actually be implemented with generic code/mechanics with only small snippets to differentiate a card object with a material object, etc.    The Modes will also add an additional layer of complexity with (hopefully) not vast effort on the coding side, with their own flavors and pros/cons.     As I can't implement the vast amount of features of many roguelikes, like NetHack, I'll be investing in fewer areas, but hopefully with multiple layers of complexity to (hopefully) bring something new to the table. ]]

3) I'm not exactly a fanboy.  ;P   I've got like 4 functional Windows 7/Vista gaming machines, and only one functional Mac laptop.  I generally enjoy the Mac better, but both have things that infuriate me. 

4) Although I proposed a lot of ideas, I'm hoping to scope the project to 1-3 years of work.  There will be a lot I'll probably leave out, from the quirky-evolutionary stuff (dipping potions etc), to "AI systems and Fractal landscape generation" etc.   I might not even implement stuff like lighting and player-made traps in the 1.0    My "epic roguelike" will likely not come to fruitition until my 5th attempt! ;P

5) I'm also hoping to sometime collaborate on a project, since I'm a newbie, by doing "that Mac Roguelike", I'm hoping people might have a better chance not seeing me as just another stranger who implemented yet another roguelike.  ;P   


Any other comments are welcome!
Thanks!

Ancient

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2011, 09:09:29 PM »
1) making it xplat does have many upsides, but the notable downsides for it were the following:  a) I couldn't really use Objective-C/Cocoa in a way meaningful enough to learn it as deeply as I'd like.
The Cocoa part is true. Objective-C itself is portable. Moreover sticking to native tools is the only way you can get the feeling "this application really belongs here". Ever heard about Drain Storm? When people see it for the first time the interface screams at them "Minesweeper 2!!". A screenshot if you are not familiar. In short: go for it!
Michał Bieliński, reviewer for Temple of the Roguelike

mariodonick

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 12:44:32 PM »
Good luck with your plan. I think MacOS is a relevant platform.
https://mariodonick.itch.io/lambdarogue-the-book-of-stars
-- LR: The Book of Stars graphical roguelike RPG

Psiweapon

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 10:48:55 PM »
Every platform deserves a roguelike - and from my humble ignorance, it looks like they can be built for anything. Anything with at least a text output, that is.

Make an awesome game!!
The invisible hand is a lie, the fiendish dogma of the market cultists. Lest the apostasy grows strong, their blood god will devour each and everyone, pious and infidel alike.

DaedricPrime

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 07:03:04 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement!  I needed it since it will be a lot of work (my plan is for more than just a typical text roguelike, it's half roguelike/half cRPG )

I've got a good start, I hope, the app core is done (about box, menus, etc), Sound/Music engine, complete Help system, with play logs and Hall of Fame, etc.  I've got my "color replacer" system working, so I can design a base "sprite" and all the color variants are "free". [Supports up to 8 distinct wildcard colors in the base sprite].  I'm working on the menu screens now, and the app/game states.  Next up is the command processor/queue and the character data/dialogs.   I also have a base design for a "secure permadeath save game system" using custom encrypting [what can I say, I designed my own cryptographically-secure PRNG just for fun. ;P ]

( I also thought of  a few neat ideas, like mobs/NPCs share the same base/class as a character, so in new games, you can even play as new races you've encountered/collected from previous games, etc. )

Here's the main welcome screen: 

sites.google.com/site/mizukirpg/news/ithasbegun/Miz000001.png




( BTW, If you have any comments on good/must-have features for a roguelike, I'd like to hear them.  I know there is no definitive list of roguelike features, but it's a big genre and I'm a casual RL fan.  )

Psiweapon

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 09:12:15 AM »
Being able to equate players and monsters is a plus for any RPG system - digital or not.

A shame that I don't own any mac!
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Darren Grey

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Re: Making a Mac Roguelike
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 09:26:31 AM »
Good to see you're actually getting some work done on this and proceeding with real features.  You seem to have a lot of ideas of things you want in future, but it's important to keep your head out of the clouds and carry on with implementing real things.  The quicker your game gets to a basic playable state the quicker you'll be able to implement all the cool ideas.

For roguelikeness features I'd recommend reading the Berlin Interpretation.  And remember to consider them as suggestions rather than requirements.  Your game is ultimately going to be your game, and definitions be damned.

Personally I think the *fun* factor of roguelikes comes from procedural content.  The game must be unpredictable with unexpected challenges.  Turn-based is also important to let you think through these obstacles and determine the best path or use of resources.  Permadeath ties in with the random elements to make the game eminently replayable.  Dying should be fun and provide a learning experience.

I like how you're thinking ahead in the years with your copyright notice  ;)