Author Topic: Sentience Alpha 2  (Read 14866 times)

Aganazer

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Sentience Alpha 2
« on: February 22, 2010, 10:24:11 PM »
I've had the alpha version of this ready for a couple weeks now. I got horribly sidetracked with the start of the Din's Curse beta and forgot to post anything about it. Sentience is a three week project that I wrote in C#.NET. Its my first roguelike so the majority of the time was spent working out things like line of site routines, pathfinding, and basic AI issues.

A little introduction from the readme.txt...
Quote
In sentience you play as a robot trying to find out what happened on the colony ship that has malfunctioned during its 200 year journey to another planet. Sentience is a RPG game influenced by Roguelikes. Maps and loot are randomly generated when you start a game.

The alpha version is really just a tech demo. Only five levels are available in this version. Changes are being made so frequently that its easier to work with a small set of content while the game mechanics are worked out. There are still many placeholder graphics used in the game.

A picture is worth a thousand words so I'll start with some screenshots. The first screenshot shows the normal view. I wanted to support tiles from the start instead of ASCII. That is how I prefer to play roguelikes. There are also destructible environment objects. Walls and doors can be damaged and destroyed. Barrels can be blown up. There are even maintenance robots that will fix the damage given enough time.


The second shot shows the inventory. Your bot has a limited number of equipment slots that can be configured to your choosing with whatever equipment you would want in them. Its similar to a fantasy RPG in that your character has specific equipment slots for your hand, head, legs, etc except in Sentience you can put any equipment into any slot. There are of course penalties for loading up all your slots with guns. Guns use power and you'd have to give up shields and a scanner (a scanner determines your view distance).

There are also modules. This is the discovery mechanic of Sentiance. Modules are like equipment only they are unidentified when found unless you have identified one of that type before. They cannot be unequipped either. Not all of them are beneficial. You might accidentally equip bad modules that can cause fuel leaks or corrupted targeting systems along with good modules that can give you auto-repair or solar power regeneration.


The game is designed to be played with WASD and the mouse although arrows and even the num-pad are supported. I ended up ditching diagonal movement because I thought directional MOB's were cooler than diagonal movement and didn't want to support the art for all 8 possible move directions. With directional MOB's I can eventually do cool things like positional damage, interesting line of site possibilities, and directional damage abilities. It seemed to be a worthwhile sacrifice.

The game requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 to run.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=333325FD-AE52-4E35-B531-508D977D32A6&displaylang=en

And finally, the game itself.
http://www.monolithicstudio.com/gaming/sentience/alpha2/Sentience_Alpha2.zip

Right now there is a known issue that will cause an error when you finish your first game (which will probably be very short). When it displays the high score page you'll get a .NET error that you can press 'continue' to get past and it won't happen again after. Something to do with an index out of range since the high score list is empty.

Most of the game's art was done by my good friend Rao and the game files are hosted on his server. :) There are still some placeholder graphics borrowed from DCSS and SS13 (the barrel is from SS13).

I am still undecided on the game's future. I'd love to expand and polish it since I originally wanted to make 20 levels. On the other hand, now I have all these roguelike tools written in .NET and I could make all kinds of different games. There are a lot of great shortcuts that can be used to make development very rapid in .NET. For example, the save and level persistence features took about 30 minutes thanks to .NET's great serialization features.

Any feedback is appreciated, and not just positive feedback. If something sucks or is annoying, confusing, ugly, or you just don't like it then I'd like to hear that to. I'll try not to bite your head off.

EDIT: Updated to use a zip file instead of 7-zip.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 01:37:11 PM by Aganazer »

corremn

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Re: Sentience Alpha 2
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 11:12:51 PM »
Looks good.
However I dont have 7zip installed on this machine, and I am not likely to.  Just because something is really cool does not mean ppl want to use it.  I do use 7zip on other machines and I do think it is really cool.  Stick to zip files for windows.  Most people will not install one program just to try out a tech demo.

Cheers and good luck.
corremn's Roguelikes. To admit defeat is to blaspheme against the Emperor.  Warhammer 40000 the Roguelike

Aganazer

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Re: Sentience Alpha 2
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 01:09:09 AM »
Looks good.
However I dont have 7zip installed on this machine, and I am not likely to.  Just because something is really cool does not mean ppl want to use it.  I do use 7zip on other machines and I do think it is really cool.  Stick to zip files for windows.  Most people will not install one program just to try out a tech demo.

Cheers and good luck.

I originally started using it while testing since gmail and hotmail check inside zips and tend to reject anything with a exe in it. I'll see if I can get it in a zip soon. It should be no problem.

getter77

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Re: Sentience Alpha 2
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 02:01:59 PM »
Sounds promising and nifty as another .NET thing aside from Mines of Morgoth---I say keep at it even if it takes awhile and you branch off to knock out other Roguelike'ish machinations along the way.

:tips hat at fellow Din's tester:
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training