Monday, March 15, 2010

7DRL Day 7: Sleepless Victory

At 2am, 161 hours after I began, I announced the completion of my Seven day Roguelike. It came down the the wire as I tried to force my sleep deprived mind to comprehend the intricacies of how jar'ing java class files until collapsed at the keyboard, my hand striking the submit key as I fell.


Well ... maybe it wasn't that epic, but hunting for the instructions on how to handle classpaths in jar manifest files at 2am isn't a task I'd inflict on anyone.

In the end, WWRL has a character selection, a information screen, "full" featured combat, and plenty of room for enhancement. It can be download from the WWRL Google Code project.

I've included a manual, but if anyone has any questions, drop me a message in the comments or head over to the mailing list, and I'll see what I can do. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

7DRL Day 6: Spit and Polish

After 6 days I have a game. It isn't a great game, it isn't a game that is quite ready for release, but it is a game. During day 6 I completed the character selection and information screens. I added around a half dozen moves and I streamlined the process of adding moves and wrestlers. I refactored the AI section, but I didn't really improve it much. I think that the AI only needs to be taught to vary it's attacks and pin at this point. Overall, day 6 was a victory.

Choose your wrestler!

He may wear pink , but I still wouldn't want to get in his way.

Objectives for the 7th and final day are to get defensive and fan maneuver working, implement throws, teach the AI to do more than use it's first move, implement jumping attacks and add moves. It's fair too ambitious, but I'll try.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

7DRL Day 5: Working but not Finished

At the end of day 5 it looks like I have the frameworks for setups in place, if not working 100% correctly, running attack at a lot more predictable, and the in game message system works and scrolls correctly. I even added the Inverted Cloverleaf as a move, but it isn't much to see yet. Attacking prone opponents now yields more damage and the player can now make speculative attacks. Overall, I wanted to add more moves and finish setups, but I'm still calling today a victory.

No screenshots today, not much new to see. I'm hoping to have a gameplay video tonight.

Goals for day 6 are, in order: clean up setups and holds, implement character select screen, refactor AI, and add moves.

edit: okay, one screenshot:

You can feel the pain, in an ASCII kinda way

Friday, March 12, 2010

7DRL Day 4: Fighting and Falling

Day four is done, and I now have a "playable" game. Playable to be interpreted loosely. Gameplay currently consists of:
1. Kicking your opponent while he punches you2. Running away from him when your stamina is low to recover
3. Repeating steps 1 and 2 until your opponent's fatigue bar fills up
4. Performing a running kicking to knock your opponent to the mat
5. Pinning him to win
Well, I suppose I've played Tiger handhelds with less gameplay than that, be it still needs some work before I can call it a roguelike. However, since my goal for day 4 was to deliver a barebones game, I am declaring victory.

My boot in yo' face!

A winner is you!

The goals for tomorrow (well, today now) in order of priority are: Add support for additional setup maneuvers, clean up running attacks, add damage modifiers for prone and climbing wrestlers, finish message boxes, and add moves. I probably won't get them all done, but the more the merrier.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

7DRL Day 3: Sprinting Wrestlers and Lost Time

At the end of day three, I have wrestlers on the mat, and the player controlled one can walk, run, and try to climb. In addition both wrestlers now have faces, or at least a direction they are facing. My target yesterday was to have the message boxes completed and content for the wrestlers to use for the big day tomorrow. Neither of these were quite completed and movement still needs some more work. Today w asn't the victory days 1 and 2 were, but I am hoping to make up time tomorrow.

An, as yet, unpopulated character details screen

A Wrestler running around as his opponent tracks him and the clock ticks.

The goal for tomorrow is to have a bare bones game completed by the end of the day. This might sound a bit too much of a stretch, but I have the day off and hope to be able to devote 8+ hours to development. I've also been doing a lot of work as I go to set up the infrastructure I am going to need.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

7DRL Day 2: A Wrestler Grows Legs

At the end of day two, I have wrestlers on the mat, and at least one of them is walking around. Admittedly, my target yesterday was to have them both moving around, but it wouldn't be to hard to fake the AI walking in circles if I wanted, so I'm declaring victory.

"Select a Wrestler" Screen, currently unpopulated

Wrestler walking around, not really constrained by time or space

Tomorrow, my goal is to create enough content to give my wrestlers (or at least non-AI wrestler) something to do, to complete the display (Stamina bar, clock, etc.) and put the finishing touches on the message boxes (content to be added later).

Monday, March 8, 2010

7DRL Day 1: A Screen Takes Shape

Day 1 of my 7DRL project, the World Wrestling Roguelike, is drawing to a close and I remain optimistic that I can pull this off. My objective for today was to get the title screen and main wrestling arena screens designed and in place as well as reminding myself as to exactly how Java works.
Title Screen - Verbiage to be improved later

Wrestling Arena - Needs Wrestlers, shouting press, statues, etc.

Tomorrow, my objective is to get wrestlers moving around the ring, updating the graphics accordingly and to start work on message presentation.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Like a Roguelike

In the family of video game genres, Roguelikes are the crazy uncle that no one really talks about and most everyone agrees that is way past him prime. Everyone knows that without him the Diablo family wouldn't be around, but over the years he's refused to stay with the times and stodgily clings to his ASCII and tile-based graphics and midi-quality sound. In recent years he's started to let himself go, spawning a whole genre of Roguelike-likes and a mess of games with acronyms like 7DRLs and <1KBRLs. Though despite his lack of flashy graphics and sounds, he still manages to gather an audience.

Wikipedia explains that Roguelikes are "a sub-genre of role-playing video games, characterized by randomization for replayability, permanent death, and turn-based movement", which is probably a bit narrow for a definition, but not too bad, for Wikipedia at least. The Temple of the Roguelike provides a more in-depth take on what it means to be a Roguelike adding concepts like "Single command set", "Free form" and "Discovery mechcanics". Now you can probably count the number of games that claim to be Roguelikes and meet all of those criteria on one hand and have fingers left over. In fact, even the game that spawned the genre, Rogue itself, isn't what most people would consider free form. On top of that, none of these definitions mention the Roguelike-likes.

So, you ask, what do I consider the defining characteristics of a roguelike to be? Well, there is really only one trait I associate with Roguelikes and if any game exhibits this, I tend to think Roguelike, or at least Roguelikelike. The pace of play must fall between real time strategy and turn based strategy. To me, the rest are just conventions of the genre that can be ignored or changed, which separate Rougelikes from the Roguelike-likes. Games like Angband and Shiren the Wanderer: Mysterious Dungeon 2 that follow all the rules are considered roguelikes while games with only the pacing and a convention or two like Dwarf Fortress or Decker are considered roguelike-likes.

Today, the roguelike genre is still being developed by both amateurs and independent game designers, and while commercial releases are few and far between, companies like Bay 12 Games do reasonably well on donations. In addition, coming up next week is the yearly Seven Day Roguelike competition or 7DRL where developers attempt to code a roguelike from scratch in only 7 days. The 7DRL contest has grown over the years with more games being successfully completed each year.

Overall, Roguelikes are an interesting genre with a wide range of options to choose from when it comes time to choose a title to play. In a couple of weeks, there will be even more, and hopefully, if I can pull my act together, one of them will be my own 7DRL entry.