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Infinite Rogue

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
***UPDATE 13 MAY 2017***

Hey, just wanted to post a quick update at the top of the thread, since the game has come so far since I first posted. The main news is that I have officially published a Beta version of the game on the Stencyl Arcade. Check it out!

http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/36833

Or on Kongregate:

http://www.kongregate.com/games/Crovaxus17/tower-of-non

**********

Hello Stencylers!

I have been playing around with this idea now for a while, and recently it coalesced into something. I always loved Zelda games, and I have also become interested recently in procedural generation... And obviously the world needs a proc gen Zelda clone. (Actually, I bet there are already a dozen of them, but what can you do?)

The story of the game is that the dungeon is a kind of dreamworld: the player wakes up (or doesn't wake up...?) into an eerie and endless labyrinth, full of impossible creatures and otherworldly beings. She has to journey down into the dark to uncover the dark secrets of this strange world... and maybe then she can escape.

My big goals for this game are as follows:
- Make the gameplay loop as streamlined as possible, so there is no sifting through menus or learning a bunch of complicated skills.
- Within that simple framework create a lot of potential variety.
- Make a framework that I can add interesting content to later; the big idea for this game is that the dungeon will eventually be stocked with bits of interesting lore: story fragments, poems, cryptic writings, unusual objects – let's call them Lorebites; then, once I have the engine in place, I can just add Lorebites to the game as I create them.

I also plan to add things like different character classes (I am hoping I can differentiate them with basic stats alone), lots of monsters, boss monsters with unique powers, traps, treasure, different tilesets to the keep the dungeon fresh.

For now, I know it is incomplete and the dungeon is pretty barren, but I would love some feedback on the gameplay. Is it fun? Is it easy to pick up? Are there any major problems? Let me know! Thanks!

http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/36652

« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 08:06:15 am by Crovaxus17 »

merrak

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  • Posts: 1558
I think it's off to a great start. I got to level 5 before I got stuck between several monsters and died. Once I got into the game it was easy to pick up. I did have trouble getting into the game, though. There wasn't any real indication that my first character name was too long. Then I started out immediately under attack--kind of a rough way to begin :P So the level generation could use some polishing... but gameplay itself felt pretty well balanced.

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
Love the screen shot! I was kinda hoping people would do that to capture how far they got, since it has the score, the dungeon level, and all the character info right there, plus the mob that got you.

Anyway, I fixed the name length issue (temporarily, anyway – I just added text to state the character limit; I'll find a more elegant way to communicate that information later), and I added some code in to remove any monsters that spawn in the very first room. I agree that the level generator needs tweaking. I was planning to try to add in something to vary the number of rooms, and to make fewer corridors, especially fewer redundant ones.  And maybe shrink the level some so the rooms are closer together... What do you suggest for making it better?

Thanks for the feedback!

merrak

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  • Posts: 1558
What do you suggest for making it better?

Bringing the rooms closer together sounds like a good idea to me. Finding the stairs after the clearing out most of the monsters got tedious, mainly because of the time it took to explore. Walking speed versus the monster speed seems good to me, but shortening the corridors would make exploration faster.

"Lorebites" sounds really interesting to me, especially since there's the potential to have a randomized storyline. I was planning to use A* to do something similar myself, although in a different way and to a different end.

If you haven't seen it yet, I think it's worth reading about Hectate's Metroid Generator and the "Lock and Keys" concept. The algorithm described would be a good approach to generating levels that have a sense of progression (get X to get to Y)... for example, finding a particular weapon or powerup to enable you to defeat a particular boss.

mdotedot

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  • Posts: 1245
Great Start Crovaxus17 !

At first, when I start reading, I thought : too big of a project and was expecting a green grass game where nothing was done.
Then I started the game and it was like : Good Start!

Procedural Generation is a thing that I frequent look at and it will be interesting to see how for you go with it.

I would advice to let the player start in a room where there isn't an enemy. Just to get the feeling of the controls and let the player get familiar with the scene. You might use a thing like 'after x seconds' to set a variable for spawning enemies.

Again, good start and I will be watching this journal!
Best regards from
M.E.
Hanging out in the Chat:  http://www.stencyl.com/chat/

Bombini

  • Posts: 799
Congrats!
I died in level 3 being surrounded by skeletons ;)
I enjoyed it and its a good start. I would love to move diagonal and have ranged weapons at a certian point. Maybe you want push the rpg idea w bit further and add NPC's in the dungeons or add some goals beside finding the next staircase.

All the best!

colburt187

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  • Posts: 2053
Really cool, I enjoyed it, I really like how the enemies can hurt each other, I like the tactic of using them against each other. The range enemies in the corridors was difficult, would be nice to be able to deflect the projectiles with the sword. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
Thanks all: these are good ideas. I have been thinking on some of those things, too.

What do you suggest for making it better?

Bringing the rooms closer together sounds like a good idea to me. Finding the stairs after the clearing out most of the monsters got tedious, mainly because of the time it took to explore. Walking speed versus the monster speed seems good to me, but shortening the corridors would make exploration faster.

"Lorebites" sounds really interesting to me, especially since there's the potential to have a randomized storyline. I was planning to use A* to do something similar myself, although in a different way and to a different end.

If you haven't seen it yet, I think it's worth reading about Hectate's Metroid Generator and the "Lock and Keys" concept. The algorithm described would be a good approach to generating levels that have a sense of progression (get X to get to Y)... for example, finding a particular weapon or powerup to enable you to defeat a particular boss.

@merrak
Shrinking the dungeon a bit should easy, so that will probably be the next thing I work on. As for A*, I had though about trying to use that, but I really wanted to build this game without any extensions. (And actually, without any actual code, just the blocks: I might be stupid, but my goal was to keep things simple.) That said, I would like the monster AI to be more elegant, so perhaps I will cave and try out A* later on....

Thanks for mentioning the Metroid generator! I had seen it a while back but forgotten about it – definitely worth looking at, as it is so similar to what I am trying to do. I had definitely considered Lock-and-Key-like random progression. What I had in mind would be like this: randomly drop keys in each dungeon level (you can see I have a key slot in the HUD, but currently there is nothing to fill it...) and keep track of how many have been dropped so far; then, randomly generate locked things (doors and chests), but never generate more locked things than the number of keys that have already been dropped in previous levels. This would occasionally make the player have to back track – not sure if that would be too frustrating, but it would be interesting. If anyone has thoughts on how to do that sort of thing well, I would love to hear it!

Great Start Crovaxus17 !

At first, when I start reading, I thought : too big of a project and was expecting a green grass game where nothing was done.
Then I started the game and it was like : Good Start!

Procedural Generation is a thing that I frequent look at and it will be interesting to see how for you go with it.

I would advice to let the player start in a room where there isn't an enemy. Just to get the feeling of the controls and let the player get familiar with the scene. You might use a thing like 'after x seconds' to set a variable for spawning enemies.

Again, good start and I will be watching this journal!


@mdotedot
Yeah, the size of the project worries me a bit: that is why I really want to keep it as simple as possible. If I can get a streamlined, playable dungeon, then I can just add details to it over time, so it will grow and get more interesting, but still be a playable "finished" product the whole time. My brother is going to help me create unique assets to populate the dungeon with, so that should be a big help: I am not an artist. (I should credit Oryx Design Labs for the Tiny Dungeon tileset, which is great! Definitely worth the price. I have found the sprites very flexible and easy to animate, and I love the dark color palette.)

I think I fixed it so that enemies will not spawn in the very first room on the first level (though they can still spawn at the staircase in subsequent rooms). Let me know if this fix isn't working....

Congrats!
I died in level 3 being surrounded by skeletons ;)
I enjoyed it and its a good start. I would love to move diagonal and have ranged weapons at a certian point. Maybe you want push the rpg idea w bit further and add NPC's in the dungeons or add some goals beside finding the next staircase.

All the best!

@Bombini
Moving Diagonal would be easy, I could just use the 8-way built-in behavior instead of the 4-way. Maybe I'll try to make it optional: so the player can choose to enable diagonal movement or not?
As for ranged weapons, yes I plan to add them. I am thinking that I can make at least 4 distinct character classes just by varying the starting stats and attack type (melee or ranged). So, for example, the current hero would be the Warrior class: melee attacks, high defense and hit points, high basic attack damage, low special attack damage and mana, lower movement speed; a Mage would have ranged attacks, low defense and hit points, low basic attack damage, very high special attack damage and mana, lower movement speed; a Rogue would have melee attacks, medium defense and hit points, medium basic attack damage, medium-high special attack damage and mana, highest movement speed; and a Ranger would have ranged attacks, medium defense and hit points, high basic attack damage, low special attack damage, medium mana, high movement speed.

As for NPCs and dungeon features: yes! I want to put in merchants, for example, so you can spend your coins to customize your character a bit, if you want to, by buying powerups to improve your stats; and also other NPCs like prisoners, demons, and otherworldly beings that will talk to you instead of fighting, and they could have randomized dialogue similar to the Lorebites mentioned above. And the lock and key idea would hopefully create a sense of progression and goals...

(I love Space Pirate, btw!)

Really cool, I enjoyed it, I really like how the enemies can hurt each other, I like the tactic of using them against each other. The range enemies in the corridors was difficult, would be nice to be able to deflect the projectiles with the sword. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

@colbert
Hmmm... deflecting projectiles might be interesting. I'll add it in and see how it works. Thanks!

Sorry for the long-winded response, everyone, but as you can tell I am really excited about this game!

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
Update – I already have put in some of these changes:
- improved (I hope) the dungeon generator by making each floor smaller, with rooms closer together
- number of rooms on each floor is now variable, so each dungeon floor feels less like every other floor
- enemy projectiles can now be blocked with the player attack
- automatic 13 character limit on the name input screen will prevent you from making a name that is too long

Thanks again for the feedback! I'll keep posting updates as I work them in.

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
Hey all, I made some more updates:
I added a Mage class with ranged attacks and a different stat balance. Check it out and let me know what you think!

domagojbulat

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  • Posts: 141
Nice job with mage! You are doing great work with this game.  If there will be ranger class, he might leave traps behind him as special strike.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 08:16:21 am by domagojbulat »

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
@domagojbulat
Thanks! Yeah, I plan on making a Ranger and a Rogue: the traps are a good idea. I am trying to figure out ways to make each class feel distinct without making the gameplay too complicated, so keeping the same basic controls.

Also, updates for those who are interested:
- Added dungeon features – furniture, treasure chests, etc.
- Monsters now drop lore scrolls that give you bits of story (this content is still a work in progress, but the basic mechanic is up and running)
- Streamlined the level generator and monster AI (hopefully will improve performance);
- more enemy types added (lots more to come, here).

Plans for the near future:
- make objects like pots and crates destructible; *Pots and Crates can now be destroyed, and sometimes drop treasure!*
- make NPCs that talk to the player, including merchants that sell powerups (to give you something to do with all those coins!);
- make bosses that spawn every few levels;
- add new tilesets so the dungeons get more variation;
- play with the dungeon generator to see what kinds of layouts can be generated.

« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 11:06:57 am by Crovaxus17 »

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
Update!

I added a Rogue class, as well as dungeon furnishings, including destructible objects and chests! Plus, I put in lore fragments that the player can collect and read. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 11:34:10 am by Crovaxus17 »

mdotedot

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  • Posts: 1245
Nice!
Since the last time I played there is lots more on the screen. The spawning did occur in a room with monsters: Good!

There was a point in the game that there was a monster just around the corner that I had to enter and couldn't make the turn to shoot it. I did all the other rooms first but I had to go through to that one.
It took quite a few room switching before the monster finally crept out of the hall and I could take a shot.
Just an observation but you might be able to do something with it?! Maybe checking on a monster if it is in a T-shaped spot and move it more frequent?!?

Best regards from
M.E.
Hanging out in the Chat:  http://www.stencyl.com/chat/

Crovaxus17

  • Posts: 54
@mdotedot
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, the monster AI is a little weak. I am not sure what I want to do about it yet. I did tweak a bit to try to solve the problem you mentioned. Just a little check to see if there is a wall right next to the monster before he shoots, so he will at least move in that specific situation... Still working on it!