Author Topic: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]  (Read 8727 times)

jere

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The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« 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.
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jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 04:39:47 AM »
Just released v1.3.

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.
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Avagart

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 11:27:54 AM »
What's about standalone offline build? IIRC you wrote about it some time ago... ;)

jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #3 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.
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Avagart

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #4 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?

sokol815

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #5 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.
My projects - http://exilania.com/landing/   |  Minotaur vs orcs -  http://exilania.com/minotaur/ |  Strife  -  http://exilania.com/strife/

jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #6 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.
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jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 02:23:03 AM »
I've uploaded v1.4

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

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

  • Win screen is dramatically improved; a detailed history is displayed for each artifact
  • Mouse can be used to attack as well as move
  • Fixed a bug with one of the numpad keys not being handled
  • Resizing during runtime is now handled properly
  • Improved the behavior of the log
  • Typos fixed
  • Forward time travel (and game loading) improved by 20%
  • Fixed incorrect introductory year in log
  • Fixed a bug with picking up the same artifact repeatedly
  • Fix a bug with monsters generating in oceans and thus preventing pathfinding
  • Fixed a bug with bosses getting double speed against player
  • Copy and paste from books is now supported

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jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #8 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.  ;)
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sokol815

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 06:15:41 AM »
I like the puzzle this game presents to the player. it's difficult. Well done!
My projects - http://exilania.com/landing/   |  Minotaur vs orcs -  http://exilania.com/minotaur/ |  Strife  -  http://exilania.com/strife/

jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2016, 12:42:24 PM »
Thank you! "Difficult" seems to be the consensus.  8)
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jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2016, 03:06:19 AM »


I did a sizable update to the game to address feedback received in a Feedback Friday thread on reddit. Also added some cool stuff just for kicks.

http://humbit.com/shadow/

Changelog:
  • Forward time travel can now be visually observed while in transit (both locally and globally)
  • Stair "timefragging" has been fixed
  • Bug with victory screen not appearing after timefragging has been fixed. Timefragging remains in the game for now (if you think it's too easy, don't use it!)
  • Support for international keyboards (if you experience a problem, please let me know!)
  • Border added to territory display
  • More blood! Wider radius on blood, amount is damage based, and blood can now affect background coloring.
  • Scrolling with keyboard now supported
  • Hints added, more warnings, and more clarity in general
  • New book notification that says when individual books were lost
  • Artifact names are now colored in books
  • Artifact name stylizing is much better!
  • Artifacts are no longer exclusively handed down to first born (I think)
  • All trees are now passable, making navigation easier
  • Animals wander more during time travel
  • Timeout on description tooltip
  • Additional actions now supported with mouse (talking, stairs, waiting)
  • Full message log added
  • Effect added to denote character position when changing views
  • Expanded artifact naming
  • Numpad options added for rest and wait
  • Internet Explorer support nominally added (god forbid you actually use it)
  • Readme added to download
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jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #12 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.
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Avagart

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #13 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! :)

jere

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Re: The Only Shadow That the Desert Knows [7DRL 2016 - Success]
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2016, 12:47:38 AM »
Ya, no problem! Let me know if you have fun with it.
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