The One Borg

I used to try to game a little time each day to play Angband. But now with finals at school, a full time job, and many books to read, I find I have not played in a while. Luckily a guy on my team is working on a little project. He is trying to create a version of Rog-o-matic that can play all kinds of versions and variants of rogue.

Now I am familiar with The Borg. That was an automatic Angband game player compiled into the game itself. That thing was fast. And it would not die too often. That is probably because it was a very conservative player. It was fun to see how Borg could get a player leveled up easily.

Anyway my team mate is working on some really old C code. He is trying to create a separate Rog-o-matic program that can hook up to an old version of Rogue. He thought he could upgrade the legacy code to C++. Turns out that was a chore. And he still has not connected Rog-o-matic and Rogue successfully yet. Nice little project though.


Just read a post on AltDevBlogADay by Alex Norton. He is the indie creator behind Malevolence, Sword of Ahkranox. Yeah. That's a mouthful. This is his first commercial game. Or at least is will be when it releases. Check out the nice trailer on the main game page.

Alex tells of how it is hard to break into the gaming business. And if you do, you might be saddled in some mind numbing testing job. Or at best you might be writing some scripts for a game. Instead you can try the indie development way. But there will be some naysayers along the way.

I have not seen the actual Malevolence game yet. It is plannedf for release next month. However the trailer looks cool. There is some nice artwork involved. The game claims to have infinite non-random georgraphy. That sounds a bit suspect. But that is the angle there.

I did take a peek at the credits page. There were are a lot of people involved with the development and testing of the game. However one thing seemed a bit off. Alex listed himself like 20 times in the credits. Yeah I get that this is his game. But that's a bit ridiculous. Just put your name down once as the King Poo-Bah. People will get the message.

Clash of Clans

Have you heard of the Clash of Clans app? Me neither. That is, I had not heard of it until today. Apparrently this game is from a 60-person development company in Finland that is making a whole lot of money. They claimed to be making $500k a day a month ago. Now the estimate is up to about $750k a day. Whew.

Supercell is the company behind the Clash of Clans game. The game is an app that has caught on like wildfire around the world. Supercell has about 60 employees. Many founders seem to have worked at another company called Digital Chocolate. Never heard of them either. But I bet we are going to be hearing a lot more about Supercell in the future.

The apps business is a volatile one. You could be making millions one day. And then app users move on and you might get left in the dust. I think Supercell has another app that is gaining traction. Let's hope they can keep it up. I am not too concerned. They are quickly getting rich by the minute.


There is an app out for the iPhone called Curiosity. The full name of the game has been changed to "Curiosity - What's Inside the Cube?" This app is being called an experiment by its creator, Peter Molyneux. The game consists of a huge cube made up of smaller cubes. There are a lot of those smaller cubes. You tap the cubes to remove them from the big cube. It is a multiplayer game. The goal is to be the person who removes the final smaller cube.

I tried the game out. There is nothing earth shattering about it. In fact, the user interface was not intuitive. After a while I figured that the little arrow head on the screen was pointing me in the direction of new cubes to remove from the surface. You can buy tools with gold. But you got to click a lot of small cubes before you can afford even the cheapest of cubes. I also found it strange that I would click maybe 50 to 60 percent of the cubes in a region, and then the whole region would disappear.

Other developers seem to have harsh words for this app. They thought the implementation of this massive multiplayer game was lacking. I thought the idea itself was pretty interesting. I wonder what secret message is in the last cube, and whether the player who unleashes the message will share it with the rest of the world.

Warcraft 1

I just stubled upon a treat - a three part story about the development of the Warcraft 1 game. I recommend you go to the source and read parts one, two, and three. This story was written by Patrick Wyatt. He is the original developer on the project. Back then the company was called Silicon & Synapse. Later Davison and Associates acquired the company, and it was renamed Blizzard.

The game work started with just one develper in September 1993. Gameplay was inspired by Dune 2, a real time strategy game which pitted you against the computer. The goal was to produce a multiplayer game. The developer banged out a rough single player version in a few weeks.

Warcraft 1 was a DOS protected mode game. It was developed in DOS real mode. Initially they tried using EMS paged memory. Later they adofpted Watcom's DOS memory extender. Here is a funny bit of trivia. The company did not have a LAN intially, even though they were targeting a network game.

In 1994, they put together some of the first design docs. The goal was to release the game by Christmas 1994. The company only had 20 people total. Many eventually worked on this game. The game was unusual in that it had a bright color palette. The graphics were 320x200 resolution.

The company was self funded. They got an infusion of cash when they were acquired. Their AI program did some cheating. The game properties behaved different for the computer than for other players. The computer also had views that were obscured for players.

When the network code came around, they implemented passing of player commands to all computers in the network. They each computer could implement the commands for all players involved. Initially there were a lot of sync bugs in the code. These got fixed. And the rest is history.


I just checked out an ad for the latest Humble Bundle. It was targeted to Android users. Most of the games seemed like nothing special. However there was one games whose graphics seemed unusual. This game was Machinarium. You had to pay at least $5.95 for the whole bundle of games to qualify for the Machinarium bonus game.

Machinarium was released back in 2009. I looked it up. The thing costs $10 if you want the game as released on multiple platforms. If you just need the iPad version (which requires the iPad 2), it costs $4.99 in the app store. Note that this game also runs on the Playstation 3. Apparently they initially wanted to release it on the XBox360. But Microsoft halted that effort.

This game was made using Adobe Flash. The credits only list one or two developers for the whole game. Guess that is all you need when there are 30 screens total of puzzles. However there were a whopping 16 testers listed in the credits. This game was produced by Amanita design. They have a few other games out there including Samorost and Botanicula.

Macinarium has a free demo for Windows that I played. The intro shows a bunch of trash being dumped. The main character is apparently one that appeared previously in games such as Super Meat Boy. While playing, I was a robot with just a head. I retrieved my body, but had to trade another animal a mouse so it would retrieve my legs. Then I got stuck.

I could not get off the first screen. There is allegedly a built in hint system. The thing that struck me about this game was the weird but beautiful graphics. It was strange also that there was little to no text on the screen. This is a graphic adventure that reminds me of Myst. I might just have to buy this darn thing (and use the hints to get by). I wish this would work on new iPhone 5.

Make Games With Us

Just heard about this company "Make Games With Us". They provide tutorials for you to code iPhone apps. They also hook you up with artists so you can concentrate on the your coding. When you are done, they want to publish your game for. They take a 30% cut of profits in return. This rate applies during their Beta phase.

Makes Game With Us is a two many startup. Recently they got accepted into Y-Combinator. So they got some cash from Paul Graham, and have access to the Y-Compbinator community at large. Their claim to fame is that they made a video using their accents to get into Y-Combinator. Check out their video here.

GitHub Game Challenge

GitHub has announced a game challenge. You have a month to develop a game. What kind of game? Well a game that deals with things you do in GitHub. You know. Make a game about forking, cloning, pulls, and pushes. Top prizes include nicely equipped iPads.

How do you submit your entries? You use GitHub of course. Heheh. I don't even have a GitHub account. I think you can get a small one for free. But what are the chances that I can bang out a top rated game by the end of the year? Well I have done 7DRL entries for the past few years.

One good incentive is that the judges are from game companies themselves. If you can put a game that really rocks, you might just make a connection that could land you a job. Go GitHub.

KIXEYE Recuitment Video

I just watched a video from KIXEYE where they try to recruit developers to work there. To say that the video was hilarious would be an understatement. They parody other games companies such as Zynga, EA, and Kabam. Priceless. Then KIXEYE CEO Will Harbin comes on and give a speech of why you need to join the company now.

KIXEYE was found as Casual Collective back in 2007 by two Flash ddevelopers. They are located in San Francisco. Last year they rebranded their company as KIXEYE, focusing on hard core gaming. They have a couple hundred employees. Apparently they are adding up to 30 employees a month. I saw over a hundred job openings posted recently.

KIXEYE has been in the news when a contractor blogged about the racist environment at KIXEYE. CO Will Harbin said he personally conducted an investigation that resulted in the firing of four employees. KIXEYE is looking at around $100M in revenue this year. They have around 5M users, and make money by selling speed ups in their games. They are unique in that they generte a lot more profit per user than other FaceBook developers.

KIXEYE offers an "unlimited" amount of vacation to employees. They also offer free food. Their FaceBook games focus on real time strategy. It looks like their games are still being developed using Adobe Flash.

The Return of Jetpack

Jetpack is an old game from the 1990s. It reminds me a little of Donkey Kong. Except you also can use your jetpack to move up on the screen. No more just climbing ladders. Jetpack 2 was scheduled to be released back in the 1990s as well. However there were some problems with the publisher, who went out of business.

Now it seems the author of Jetpack is at it again. He is looking to finally release the sequel to this game. Let's hope he has luck and can pull off a Duke Nukem return. Apparently he tried to get some backing from a publisher. Most balked at the idea. I think another deal fell through.

What is a small developer to do? Turn to Kickstarter. Total goal is to raise $40k. I think the guy only has a couple grand promised so far. That's a long way to go. I wonder if a Jetpack style game has a place in today's crowded game market. You got to want to root for the little guy though.

Game Developer Interview

I saw what seems to be an advertisement for a game developer position. It is very unorthodox. You are to meet up with the "CEO" so he can do a pre-interview with you. The strange part is that you meet him for a pre-interview within the Diablo 3 game.

How is that for a test on whether you have some Diablo chops? Apparently the CEO is a level 60 character with damage of 25,000. Those stats seem legit. I wonder whether he earned such a state by playing the game himself.

Apparently one developer who impresses the CEO enough will be invited for an in person interview. The goal will be to determine whether a job offer for a development position is warrented.

Seems strange that they would just invite one developer in person. What happens if the job is offered and the developer declines? Or how about the case where the developer sounded good online, but is not a fit in person?

Dragonvale Breeding

I am totally hooked on this new game for my iPhone. This is Dragonvale. Your goal appears to be to spawn a lot of different dragons. Toward that goal you need to gold, dragon food, and habitats. Previously I had a whole fire nation of dragons. They produce gold quick. But their maximum is capped and that is getting in the way.

Now I am trying to raise up some dragons for my earth habitat. What better way to do that than get some Quake dragons in there. While waiting for some quake dragon eggs to hatch, I tried to also breed a Sandstorm dragon for fun. The sandstorm eggs look like they are a combination of air and earth elements. Fine. I got both those dragons.

I chose my air dragon first. Next I wanted to choose the earth dragon to mate with it. No luck. It was grayed out. At first I thought this was a bug. Then I thought perhaps one dragon was too much older than the other. I fed my air dragon to raise its level. No help. Finally I searched on the web for a solution.

It turns out that air and earth are opposite elements. They never mix directly. I had to first create a hybrid dragon that was half of one of those elements. Then I could mate the hybrid with the other element. I tried this, but the result does not look like it will be a sandstorm dragon. The egg had a long incubation period. I might be getting another Moss dragon. Great.

Bardness Update

I am pretty much done trying out the 7DRL successful entries. Now I am checking out games with regular updates on rgrd. Today I installed Bardness. The game required a separate XNA Framework download from Microsoft. I wanted to try the game, so I went ahead with the download and install.

Bardness starts out with a huge page of stats and abilities. I accepted the defaults, and quickly lost during a demo verion. Then I went for the full quest. This one had more enemies. But I guess they were spread out better throughout the dungeon. I have not seen an enemy yet.

Bardness has a blinkig cursor next to your player character on the screen. Not sure if that is a side effect or a feature. I like the power bars that graphically show your health. Some of the menus are clipped on my screen. Is this due to my screen resolution? Who knows?

Based on the version number, I suspect this game is still in beta. I will be interested in seeing version 1.0 some day.

Snake AKA Wyrm

I played Wyrm a couple times today. This game is hard. I make sure to move so as not to bite my own tail. However it seems monster just kill me within a few turns. I eat monster to gain energy to no avail.

When the game starts, you have a lot of options thrown at you. Perhaps I could search for a difficulty option. Then I should put the thing on easy. This feels like the game of Snake. However it has a roguelike flavor.

The game requires the Java runtime environment version 6 or greater. You got to run the game manually from the command line. It is a cool game, but way too hard.

Return to the Dungeons of Doom

I just tried out the 7DRL called Locks. This game has an eerie music playing in the background. There seems to be some advanced targeting and movement. When I started the game, some enemies were immediately firing projectiles at me.

There is one major problem in the game. I cannot figure out how to attack my enemies. I read through the readme file. No luck. I cannot run away. I get zapped by projectiles. This is just no good.

It is amusing that the author left some cheats in the game. They are fully documented in the readme file. Still, if I cannot attack I can't play the game. Oh well.

Life in the Shadows

I am trying to play Shadowrogue. The colors are nbice in this game. The yellow of the lighted area is great. The shadows seem somewhat blue. I did find and kill one guard. Aside from that, there does not seem much to do in the game.

The goal is to get something called the MacGruffin. Get it and you can climb up the stairs. This is definitely a minimal game. The messages are color coded. I don't know what the colors mean. It is just something different.

completing a level allows you to increase one of your stats. The more levels you climb, the more guards you must deal with per level. Not sure if the guards (G) are stronger than guards (g). I did eventually die fighting the guards. Got to level three. Killed a few guards on that level before I was bumped off.

This is a simple but nice game to play. The controls feel very natural. Colors are great. Impressive for a 7DRL creation.

Time in the Asylum

I am trying out Asylum. It uses weird keys for controls. The keys don't auto repeat either. That gets tedious after a while. There are a lot of spooky items in the room you start in. One thing is for sure. There are a lot of dead ends in the asylum halls.

At the end of the corridor, I saw a set of stairs leading down. However I could not figure out how to go down the stairs. Be alert that the | symbol is a door that you should walk through. All I saw behind the doors were other cells that looked like mine.

I like the way lighting is done in the game. There is a weird countdown going on in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I don't think I shall be hitting the end of the countdown. I can't seem to get anywhere in the game. So I don't think I shall forge on in the asylum.

Real Steel

I am playing Steel Knights right now. It is a web game. Be warned. The game takes a while to come up after you get to the site. You have a partner in the game. Don't attack your partner. You initially have three sites to visit. I chose the dig site.

I was disappointed that the first monster I attack killed me. Ouch. Some leech sucked my blood. You would think I could bump off a leech if I have a lance for a weapon. I forgot to mention that you get to choose a space suit to start. Maybe next time I will choose a different suit.

The second time around, I chose a different site. I killed a monster there. The lighting in the game looking like there is a spotlight on you. You can see the rest of the dungeon. The area around you is just a bit brighter. Every time the game warns me, asking me whether I want to attack somebody, I interpret that as I don't need to do that.

Fact or Fiction

I just started playing Fictional Rogue. This game is written in Java. You are provided with the jar file. So you must invoke the thing from the command line. My first impression is a good one. The dungeon is set on a grid. Rooms are outlined in bold. There does not seem to be any color. But the graphics are impressive.

The docs says that a context free grammar parser is used to manage the messages. Not sure what all that means. But I did find a bunch of unusual items in the dungeon. There were some statues where I started out. Found a bunch of bones and a chair as well.

I was looking for some weapons or gold. Perhaps the weird items will come in handy later on. I did engage some kobolds in mortal kombat already. They dropped like flies. Here's hoping that I stay alive long enough to get to the second floor.

Drakefire Chasm

I have been trying without success to stay alive in Drakefire Chasm. You start out as a wyrmling. The goal is to become a great worm. You gain health by eating the corpses of your enemies. My problem is that goblins keep using projectile attacks on me. I die quickly. I have played about 10 games so far. I died quickly in each of them.

At the beginning of the game, you choose the type of breath weapon you want. Perhaps I need to learn how to activate my breath weapon. I tried stay in corridors, and not open areas to avoid projectile attacks. It does not seem to help. There are a lot of mosnters in this game.

I am going to keep at in. Not sure if I can becmoe a great worm. But I at least want to get past the first level in this fun game.

Bone Builder

I tried out Bone Builder briefly today. It uses the T-Engine. I have seen its splash screen before. That must be one of the ones you get for free from T-Engine. I liked the look of Bone Builder. The dungeon was drawn with a very large font so it was easy to see what was going on.

I started hacking and slashing as soon as I found monsters. The special effects for the battle were nice. The amount of damage done flies up in the air and gets smaller. This feels like a better version of the battle system in Final Fantasy.

There was much treasure on the floor of the dungeon. I grabbed it all. Not sure if it will be any use other than making me rich. I got a lot more Bone Builder playing I need to do before I really get my bearings. Hats off to Goblinz, the author of this fine game.

Equal in Death

I downloaded the game Equal in Death today. It took forever for the download to be complete. When I launched the game, I found it used the T-Engine that some others have employed. My first impression was not good. The maze is drawn such that moving left or right actually requires you to travel diagonally. No two cells are directly next to each other.

Another problem I had was that text would go off the screen and be unreadable. I maximized the size of the window to help. But new text still seemed to go off to the right off the window. Did anybody test any of this?

I got into an arena. It took a while because I was warned to head to the colors. But I actually had to go in one of the doors. Once in the arena, I read that I needed to grab a weapon and engage in mortal kombat. The only problem was that I could not for the life of me figure out how to pick up the weapon. None of the normal roguelike commands seemed to work. I give up.

The Rogue Boat

I just finished my first two tries at Das Schurke Boot. That means the Rogue Boat. It is written in Java. The author is a 7DRL first timer. The game looks good for a first attempt.

Initially I saw a character and headed to it to fight. Turns out it must have been a depth charge or something. I got bumped off quickly. From then on, I avoided the falling depth charges.

I did have some problems figuring out my goal. I was able to travel to the edge of the ocean. Nothing special happened. Rising up or going down in depth seems to have no change. What is a rogue boater to do?

The controls were good and responsive in this game. I wish I could take a peek at the source code. I bet I could learn a thing or two about Java development.

The Cogmind Experience

I had a short stint playing Cogmind. The game starts up kind of like a computer. It makes a weird computer sound. I liked that you immediately start out in the dungeon. However the initial room was chock full of stuff.

As I walked over the stuff, I automatically picked up some stuff. However I tried attacking what looked to be a kobold. The game told me "position occupied". What? I know the position is occupied. I was to attack the monster occupying that spot. Don't tell me this game does not have a battle system.

I even tried reading the manual. It talked about combat. But it did not make any sense. Perhaps the k is not a kobold. I will never know because I won't be sticking around to find out.

Phage Rage

I downloaded Phage and played it today. It uses something called T-Engine. Or perhaps I should say T-Engine is running the Phage game. There were some annoying T-Engine messages to dismiss or ignore. The game has an impressive splash screen that comes up on start.

The instructions says you don't need to bump to attack. However I found that I was not doing any attacking. I was only being attacked. After a while I died. What kind of roguelike is this where you don't bump into something to attack?

I tried again but the same effect occurs. Monster attack me. If I don't run, I get beat up. That is no fun at all. Too bad because the graphics looked nice in the game.

The Ruins of Kal Raman

I took a trip to Kal Raman today. This is a web game. At first I could not figure out how to play. I clicked the buttons on the bottom of the screen, but didn't seem to get any help. Then I realized I had to scroll the window down the screen. Essentially you need to click on stuff and use the pop up windows.

The mouse controls most of the moving and menus. You got to select cave exploration to get down in the dungeon. I found the dungeon a bit sparse. There might be some gold. There are stairs up, and a door out. Didn't really find any monsters to fight. The graphics are not high resolution. But they are still good.

Getting Through the GatewayRL

I tried to download GatewayRL today. Initially the page on Sourceforge did not give me a download. I clicked a link to get things started. You start out playing the game through some menus. I made some choices without much change. Then I tried to take a flight. It was full. I chose another flight with multiple passengers. I got on and the flight took me into the "dungeon".

There was weird symbology for the monsters. They were question mark symbols running around a lot. I walked over a dollar sign, hoping to get some gold. Did not notice any difference. The movement is a bit disorienting when you get to the edge of the maze.

I found that you can look around the map by moving the mouse to control a look cursor. So far I did not die yet. I have been staying away from the monsters. They only seem to burn me. Not exactly sure what my goal in this game is. Hopefully I will find out. Quick note to game players - use the tab key to switch between menu subwindows on the screen.

Low Res Zaga-33

I made one pass through 7DRL Zaga-33. This game is a full screen game, which I like. The graphics are low resolution. But they work. The alien enemies seems to have somewhat random movement. Per guidance from the instructions, I tried to avoid them at all costs.

The screen has a red door which takes you to the next level. I only made it to the second level before being killed. Looks like the new level had different monsters. Even though the graphics were low res, the monster movement seemed smooth.

When I did get killed, there was a cool screen transition back to the main screen. Nice touch. There is no goal in this game other than getting as deep in the dungeon as possible.

The Return of Mont Asall

Previously I got hung up on the Mont Asall game. Could not select the items during my court trial. However Ocean (the author) explained that I needed to press the up arrow and enter to select an item. Now I got past answering all the judges questions. I also made it through my trial without being found guilty.

There is some girl who seems to want to work with me. So I follow her out. We talk, and she gives me some directions. You got to press that 'z' key to pick up stuff. I ran into some monsters. The scene changes into battle mode, kind of like Final Fantasy. It takes a little getting used to using up your time slice in battle. The Esc key brings up your menu.

Unfortunately I was killed during my first battle with two crabs. I was not entirely sure whether I killed one of them or not. I suspect I might have been attacking a crab corpse as the other crab did me in. I will have to try again. This game definitely has some nice graphics and music once you get into it.

Ascension of the Drillworms

I started playing Acension of the Drillworms. This is a black and white game. The control is done by use of the mouse. You click to move, and click to shoot at the worms. There is a cool mini-map in the upper right hand corner to show you where you are in the big scheme of things.

There are some stats in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I am not sure how they work yet. I plan to find out. This is a pretty cool game. It is kind of weird that you can walk into little doors. The screen goes dim. Not sure how that contributes to the game goals.

I have wandered around most of the first level in the game. This game does not seem overly complex. But I think there is more to it than meets the eye. I like this one. Impressive that it was done in just a week.

Sun Crusher

I wanted to play Sun Crusher today. The executable was hosted on one of those sketchy sites. You know the ones. They have a lot of links they try to get you to click on links to download other software. Well after a lot of clicking, I finally got the executable.

This was another space roguelike. I got to choose a ship when I started. Then I used the arrow keys to navigate. Unfortunately I somehow got stuck in a corner. I could not go backwards. I fired my small and large weapons with no luck. Then I guess I lost. No. I knew I lost. The game posted a big "Fail" message on the screen. Ouch.

I don't think think I will be trying this game again.

The Well of Enchantments

I finished a quick check out of the 7DRL game entries posted to Now I am going back to see who posted only to There are a lot of games there. This time around I am reviewing The Well of Enchantments.

I like the graphics in this game. Looks like there are a lot of fairly detailed tiles. Killed off one monster. Saw some type of mold multiplying, so I killed off all the mold. Grabbed some new type of weapon.

The wield command did not work. A message on the screen told me so. Then I pressed space, and the Windows app aborted. Doh! I reloaded the game, but could not find the weapon I picked up. Or perhaps I still could not figure out how to wield the weapon using the inventory command. I give up. Too soon? Perhaps.

The Waaghammer

I tried out Waaghammer today. This one really felt like a mature roguelike. I appreciated that I could choose which stats start out higher. The commands and controls felt natural.

I was a little confused about the bright green characters in the dungeon. They were not walls as I could walk over them. They were not something I could pick up. Perhaps they were just part of the scenery.

I did some battle with all the monsters I encountered. Killed them off without needing to quaff the healing potions I picked up. There was one problem though. I explored what seemed to be the entire map of the first dungeon level. Could not find a way to climb down any stairs. What am I supposed to do now?

Out of Fuel

I tried out the 7DRL game Fuel. It had a neat intro screen with cool graphics. The idea behind the game sounded cool too. As soon as I started the game, I found myself dead a lot. Turns out there must be some sort of gravity in this game. You need to turn on the fly upward. Looks like you die if you fall down at the wrong place.

This felt more like a side scroller with gravity than a roguelike. I never quite got the knack of powering my jet pack to fall around. It would conk out at inopportune times, sending me falling to my death. This was just no fun.

The game itself had some good music going on. Looks like it is an all Flash game. I guess the movement (or flying) mechanics just do not suit me.

Warden is a lot of fun

I have been spending a bit of time playing Warden. This game is fun. I knew it was a good one when I walked into a room and had a load of enemies to attack. This is amazing that this is the author's first game. The thing has field of view, multi-colors, and all that jazz.

Instead of hit points you seem to have stamina. Great. Let's keep that stamina up. I found after a while that my stamina was always going down. I guess I need to kill to keep up the stamina. I liked that even though I died, I got resurrected in the same place to fight on.

The only problem I found was that the window was too tall and did not fit on my laptop screen. So I could not see the messages that were scrolling down on the bottom of the window. Otherwise bravo for Warden.

Lost in the Infiniverse

I tried out Infiniverse. I liked that there was an online version available. Guess it must be a web game. It looks like we are no longer in a dungeon. We are in the universe. Or more precisely, we are in the Infiniverse.

The colors and hues of the game are really nice. I felt more like the USS Enterprise than a roguelike warrior. There were a lot of stats regarding the areas of the Infiniverse I was exploring.

One more thing was odd about this game. I did not run into any enemies. I was expecting to battle some monsters, or at least some other space ships. No luck. I tried going in one direction for a while. Turns on the Infiniverse is not infinite. There is an end. Still no enemies.

The message at the top of the screen directs me to get the ancient alien knowledge. Perhaps this is just a space quest game.

Mujahid is Hard

I downloaded and played the 7DRL Mujahid today. When I run the game, I get a Windows command prompt window along with the game window. This might be related to the fact that the game was written in Python. Oh well.

One thing very interesting about Mujahid is its directional field of view. You only see things in the direction that you are facing. It looks like you need to expend a turn to change directions.

Mujahid is a hard game. I can only see to kill one monster before I get killed. The instructions warned me that this would be the case. I guess I need to change my hack and slash technique to something stealthy like a thief.

But I love hacking and slashing. Time to up my game a bit.

Sword in Hand

I downloaded and played the 7DRL Sword in Hand today. The first thing I noticed was that the game had a massive amount of files. Many of them were HTML. There were also a lot of map files. Whew. This must be a huge game.

The game takes over your whole screen. That is nice. I don't like it when I have to resize a window, or worse when it does not fit on my screen. I ran into a number of non-player characters in the game that seemed to be busy with their own duties.

I was a little disappointed that I found a lot of items, but the game told me I had no interest in them. Because I personally have a lot of interest in some plate mail laying around the house. However in this game you are a sword. So I can imagine that a sword does not use armor.

One thing I found confusing was when I entered the room with the kings. All I seemed able to do was play back some low-resolution animation of a war. Maybe I need to spend some more time with this game to change that outcome.

The Fall of Mont Asall

I downloaded Mont Asall today. The first thing I noticed about it is that it start off in a small window. Then I have to answer a bunch of questions from a judge. Well I wanted to get on with the game, so I just guessed at the answers.

It came to a point in the beginning of the game where I had to choose some items. I was able to move the cursor between the items. But I could not for the life of me figure out how to select them. I pressed the space bar and enter key. I attempted to get some help by pressing ? and h (for help) to no avail.

Feels like I never really got started in this game.

Adventurer's Guild

I took a quick peek at the Adventurer's Guild today. The most impressive thing was that it seems to be all written in Flash. Initially I tried to attack the monsters that surrounded me. Then I figured out that the three of them were part of my party.

I ran around trying to figure out how to pick up this weapon on the floor. Walking over it did not work. Tried all kinds of command such as wield, pick up, and take. Nothing worked. I gave up. Later I saw another such weapon. Then I realized that it was the symbol for an open door. Doh!

I got to my third or fourth room. Then my whole party left me because I could not afford to pay them. The game was over. I guess I need to get some gold quick to pay these lackeys. Why can't they just leave me alone to battle on my own?

HyperRogue Review

I took a quick look at HyperRogue II. This had the most unusual geometry for the "dungeon". The thing felt as if you were on a sphere in 3D. I don't think it was quite a sphere since a full rotation did not seem to get me back to where I started.

The battle system was a bit weird. The game did not let me make a move that would put me in harm's way. I guess that means you can't die in this game. I did not play the game long enough to find out for sure.

I was able to cross into some different lands. You could tell from the way the 3D mage was drawn that you were crossing over. I wonder how the developer implemented this 3D world. Looked pretty cool.

Intro Screen

I was putting the finishing touches on my 7DRL entry Turambar. Today I actually finished an intro screen. It did not take that long. I felt a little guilty working on fluff like an intro screen. But it was fun to develop. Afterwards I did some testing and found some new problems. They were cosmetic. I still fixed them anyway.

I can't believe how long it took to finish some things in the game which I thought would be a breeze. I think I might continue to improve this game even after I submit it for the 7DRL contest. There is a lack of polish on some of the user interface. Who knows? Someone who plays the game might not even notice. There are some changes I would like to make that might impact gameplay significantly. For example, when someone drops a unique weapon, a monster might pick it up. Then it is lost forever. I would prefer that unique weapons reamin on the ground for the player to always discover. I also have some bugs where unique items seem to not get created as I expected. Those should be fixed as well. Perhaps in the next release or two I can solve such outstanding issues.

All in all this was an exhausting but productive 7DRL. This has got to be the most complete 7DRL I ever did. That is pretty good considering I have completed 4 or 5 of them in the past years. Now it is time to submit my entry. Good luck to all developers in finishing your games.

The Home Stretch

I implemented the "drop" and "take off" actions using my new easy to use menus. That's enough menu work for now. I got some unique monsters for you to fight. There are some bugs. Can't seem to pinpoint the source as they don't happen all the time. But things are going well.

Not all the menus look and behave the same. I don't think I will be addressing that before finishing the game. I probably should add a help screen where I list all the commands. Right now I am starting to figure out if I can sneak an intro screen into the game. That will take some work. Should I do that, or implement more roguelike features? We shall see.

Althought I started this thing on a Saturday, I plan to finish up some time tomorrow (Friday). This is definitely turning into my best roguelike yet. I know so because it takes a long time to do testing. That means there is a lot to the game. Oh yeah. I can feel the finish coming up soon.

Big Time Progress

Today I made excellent progress on my 7DRL entry Turambar. Got some items in the dungeon. You automatically pick them up when you move over them. The big news is that I got my user interface selection down pat. You can now wield weapons and armor. Yessir. The monsters will no longer beat up on you. You have a chance at fighting back and winning the battle.

I only implemented the user interface for wielding. But now that I got some code to handle that, it should be trivial to do all the other choice selection operations like "take off" weapons/armor. This is very exciting. One of my goals this year was to perfect this user interface. You press 'w' to bring up the wield dialog. Then you only have to press one key to make your selection. Previously I used some standard dialogs which required you to press the enter key after making your choice. That was just too annoying.

Tomorrow I will implement all the other dialogs that require a user choice. Then I can add some uniques and the game is essentially done. The only hiccup is that I must attend school tomorrow. Luckily I studied ahead of time before the 7DRL started. Go team Turambar!

Turambar Day 2

Things are looking much better today for Turambar. I got some monsters up in there. They do not move too smart. They get blocked when more than one wants to come get you. But they move. You can try to hit them. However you don't really do much damage for now. You essentially die in battle all the time.

I started putting in the structure for items such as weapons. But I still need some user interaction for wieldiing the weapons. I got stuck a bit there because I want some easy to user keyboard entries to pick from lists. Did some research on that today. Will hopefully finish that up tomorrow. Then you should be able to find and wield good weapons to attack monsters with.

To be complete, I should also attend to the monster movement AI. They just try to make a straight line toward the player. If another monster is in the way, they are trapped. If the dungeon maze prohibits a direct path to the player, they get stuck. Some of these monsters should be start enough to walk around walls to get to the player. Just how to I implement that though? It is a nice problem to solve I bet.

Turambar Begins

I have started the actual coding of my 2012 7DRL entry Turambar. Luckily I used a dungeon generator I had previously prototyped. So now I got a dungeon displayed and a character on the scren represeting the player. Everything else is stubbed out. But that's okay. I got a start.

Now I am trying to research how to do dialogs in the Java programming language. I tried a JOptionPane. But you have to press enter after you make a selection in that. If only I could choose an setting that allows that thing to return back as soon as the user presses a key, I would be good. I suspect I will need to roll my own customer dialog. This is one of my goals this year in the 7DRL. So I guess I can spend a day (or a night) trying to figure this out.

Roguebasin Registation

I saw a post in rec games roguelike development, requesting that participants in the 2012 7DRL register at Roguebasin. They said it would only take 30 seconds. So I thought I would do so. I went to the Roguebasin page. The page itself did not seems to have a way to edit it to add my entry. Then I saw a tab that looked interesting. Unfortunately I needed a Roguebasin account to modify the page.

Okay. I createrd an account. Then I was able to edit the page. However it was some kind of markup I did not recognize. I tried to use other examples as a template. But when I saved the changes and viewed them, they did not seem to work as expected. I decided to just add a simple text addition to the list of 7DRL entries on Roguebasin. So now I should be good to go. I just need to start my darn game already. Still procrastinating here.

Lack of Progress

Today was the day I was supposed to start my 2012 7DRL entry Turambar. I had company over all afternoon and evening. Then I got a tired so I took a nap. When I woke up, I was still tired. Grabbed a bite to eat. Did I get to work coding out my 7DRL entry? Nope. I guess I am just goofing off. I played Angband instead.

I am playing a level 49 mage named Lasher in Angband. He has a decent 558 HP average damage per round. If enemies are not resistant to lightning or acid, the average damage goes way up to 932 HP per round. This is all thanks in part to my newly found Glaive of Pain (9d6) (+9,+30). My rings of lightning and acid help with the massive damage. They also contribute to my 200++ armor class.

One problem my character has is that he cannot see invisible creates. He can get blinded and confused as well. That is no fun. I have some helmets that prevent blindness and allow see invisible. But I gave all that up to wield the Steel Helm of Hammerhand (+9,+9) [9,20] +3. You got to love that plus to hit and damage bonus.

Well I hope to at least start my 7DRL entry tomorrow. But I have so many other things to do. I feel the procrastination kicking in so hard.

7DRL 2012

I have posted my intentions to enter this year's 7 Day Roguelike game competition. It will be called Turambar. You play the role of Turambar, whose father is missing in action from going after Morgoth. Now your sister and mother have been abducted by an evil dragon. You must descend into the dungeon, find the evil dragon, and slay him to reclaim your family.

I do have a simple dungeon generator that I am starting with. The main goal of my development is to add unique weapons and monsters in the game. That might be a tall order as I have never done that before. I am writing the game in Java, with heavy use of the Java Collections Framework. If I have time, I want to try some innovative windows for user input.

Stair Logic

Previously I had implemented dungeon stairs as a portal to the next or previous level. My game engine just generated a new maze when you climbed the stairs. However that does not mimic real life stairs. When you climb down some stairs, the stairs leading back up are right behind you. Well today I implemented this in my roguelike game engine. I was surprised how easy this turned out to be.

I still have one problem when you climb up or down stairs. It takes a long time for me to generate the new dungeon level. After that long pause, the message that you climbed the stairs is displayed. This is very unresponsive. I tried to immediately display the message. However since my code is so busy with new level generation, the message does not get painted on the screen until after the long wait. Need to find a way around this.

In other news, the dates for the 2012 7DRL challenge have finally been posted. It will happen from March 10th to the 18th. I am all in. Although I still have to attend my college class that week, I have managed to get the week off from work. Hopefully this will give me time to produce a respectable 7DRL game. More on that later.