Author Topic: Microcosm -- a roguelike for Android  (Read 6159 times)

gancoline

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Microcosm -- a roguelike for Android
« on: December 14, 2011, 02:56:06 PM »
Hi all,


I've been working on a new roguelike called Microcosm for the Android platform. Some of you may have already seen its entry on the wiki or the post on the roguelike subreddit some time ago.

I recently updated it to version 0.2, which has a handful of new features. It's still very far from the vision I have of it -- which I plan to detail in the following paragraphs.

My primary motivation for Microcosm was to make a roguelike for Android that I hadn't yet seen. I'm fond of Dweller and Legends of Yore, but I wasn't completely satisfied with them and wanted to strike out in a different direction. I have a few key ideas underpinning the development of Microcosm:


-- exploring the world through digging. Traditionally, roguelikes are focused on an adventurer wandering through a series of pre-built dungeon levels. I wanted a little more open-endedness in how the player shapes the world. My main inspiration for this objective comes from Dwarf Fortress; I initially wanted to make a real-time world like DF, but then I decided to use the simpler turn-based approach.
-- small levels and a clean, touch-centred user interface. The screen size of phones, as compared to desktops, leads to interesting compromises in design. Less auxiliary information (eg. quest info, paper doll, combat log) can be shown at once, so it has to be hidden away. Having a small level that is limited to the size of the screen also makes it easier to keep track of what's on the map without having to resort to a mini-map. From this design, I want intelligent and skilful gameplay to seem 'obvious', or at least discoverable without resorting to juggling lots of arbitrary numbers like a food clock, hp and mp bar; the simplification of this in Microcosm is apparent already as those three limitations are combined into one: the power bar that is shown along the bottom of the screen.
--a world that feels alive. Eventually I would like the planet in Microcosm to truly become a living, breathing environment, populated by flora and fauna that interact with each other as in any other ecosystem. I don't want to play in a world that seems 'manufactured' for the player to pillage and rampage for the sake of glory. It has to seem like the robot protagonist has just randomly stumbled onto a remote planet, which is giving it the planetary equivalent of a very big frown for being intrusive. I am very far from achieving this goal -- I may not even reach it, as it requires a level of complexity that may exceed what the user interface is able to accommodate -- but it is a worthy one which keeps me from thinking my project has no more room to grow in.

A link to the wiki page: http://roguebasin.roguelikedevelopment.org/index.php/Microcosm

getter77

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Re: Microcosm -- a roguelike for Android
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 04:06:07 PM »
It sounds well intentioned and interesting and I hope that you can see the project through all the way.   8)   You might find Diggr interesting in terms of the notion of a heavily involved digging mechanic.

Like Legends of Yore and Dweller though, well, I also hope you manage an eventual desktop release so as to strike at many platforms with your good notions.   :D
Brian Emre Jeffears
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gancoline

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Re: Microcosm -- a roguelike for Android
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 02:16:40 PM »
A release on any other platform aside from Android will be a long while away. Currently the code is quite tightly bound to Android APIs, and I would like the game to reach a mostly complete state before I think of porting.

getter77

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Re: Microcosm -- a roguelike for Android
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 02:46:57 PM »
Makes sense---keep at it!   ;D
Brian Emre Jeffears
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