Here Be Dragons

A comment on my blog took me to the 7DRL entry Here Be Dragons. Turns out you roll to determine the members of your party. Looked pretty advanced to me. Then I started the game. Hmmm. Number pad does not work. W-A-S-D-Z keys do not work. How do I move my party?

I almost gave up. Then I figured I would give the mouse a try before quitting. That was it. You control movement with your mouse. Then I found something strange. If I dragged my character with the mouse, the dungeon screen moved on the monitor screen. Weird. Very weird.

There is a lot to like about this game. When you are in the middle of a battle and damage is done, you see the amount of damage fly up in the air. That looks way professional. Are we sure this thing is only a 7DRL?

Stuck in Hellspace

Previously I had thought I found a 7DRL entry with good graphics. Well I had not seen anything yet until I checked out Hellspace. This game has an intro sequence that is neat. I am flying around in space. Then I dock at what I guess is Hellspace.

After docking, I walked into the main portion of the first level. That's when I was freaked out. The screen rotated around as I curved around the corner. Tight. The graphics were tight. There was one problem though. I did not know what to do on the first level.

If the rest of the game are anything like this first taste, I am in for a treat with Hellspace.

Happy Hord Days

Today I had the pleasure of testing out 7DRL game Hord Days. Man. These graphics were nice. How does someone do that well in just seven days? In this game, it looks like the zombies like to bunch up together to give you the beat down.

At first I found the zombies easy to bump off. Then I think I headed down a level and things got harder. So hard, in fact, that I got killed. Something weird happened down on the second level. I think I must have stepped on a light switch or something. The whole room lit up.

I did read the instructions for this game. They were written in "markdown" format. WTF right? I did find out that I was a hoarder. And I had to use my items in a certain order. Perhaps the items will help me get better at killing zombies.

Commission Impossible

I started playing 7DRL entry Commission Impossible today. Right from the start, I liked the large font/symbology being used. Don't have to squint to see the screen. I did not like that I could not hold down a key and be able to move multiple times in that direction. Nitpicking.

There did not seem to be any way to regain my hit points unless I gained an experience level. It did not hurt me too bad. The monsters were not that hard to give the beat down. I cleared out a whole level by being careful.

I am still trying to figure out how to climb down the stairs to fight another wave of monsters. What I take away from this game is that large font graphics are cool.

Mountain of the Gods

I downloaded Mount of the Gods, a first time 7DRL roguelike. This was quite an impressive game. It was especially impressive since it was the author's first attempt. There was a hot splash screen to start off the game. You get to choose your class.

When playing the game, the lighting was nice. Ha. I been doing 7DRL roguelikes for years and have not got into implementing anything like that yet. My one complaint on the first play was that this thing was hard. I got killed after fighting a few monsters.

Might have to try this thing again in the future. Not sure how I can even get past level one, since I got killed while playing a strong warrior.

Beware of Strange Warp Points

I downloaded and ran 7DRL entry "Beware of Strange Warp Points"  (BOSWP) today. This one is a quirky game. There is a whole PDF manual to go through first. Nice touch. The window does not take up the whole computer screen. It is square.

A cool feature of this game is that you have a small viewport to look at close up space in the game, and what looks like a minimal-detail long range map as well. I saw a big D as I warped to different space sectors. Figured it was an ancient dragon. However we were in space. So it turned out to be something else.

This game looks like it might take some time to get good at. It came as no surprise that four people teamed up to produce this game. I was just glad that I had the dot net frameworked installed to run the thing.

Goldfish 7DRL

I played Goldfish today. It is a 7DRL entry. I liked it because you play it online in a web browser. The thing started up fine. I started out in a pond. People were trying to fish for me. I let myself be hooked, then had to beg the fisherman to let me go.

Then I went down a level. There were air bubbles down there that I used to reclaim some oxygen. I headed over to some unknown symbol on the screen. Then the game froze up. Not sure what was going on. Did I die? Is this ia bug.

Oh well. The colors of the dunegon (pond) were nice. It was strange to see the different people/animals I interacted with speaking to me. Looks very impressive for a 7DRL.

Assault Fish; Airship Dragoon; RiftRL

Now that I finished my 7DRL entry, I want to check out what others have done this year. First up is Assault Fish. Hey. The splash screen looks good. However when I ran it, I got a "Java Exception Error" message. Then the program ends.

Next I tried out Airship Dragoon Rogue. The thing had a professional looking install. But then when I ran the program, I got an error stating that X3DAudio was missing from my computer. Maybe I don't have DirectX v9 on my computer. Too bad because I was looking forward to the 3D Rogue.

Next up is RiftRL. I downloaded the program and ran it. Got an error stating a folder was missing in the executable directory. I created the folder and tried again. It gave me the same error. I am starting to see a pattern here with the 7DRL entries.

We Present OL Rogue

This year's entry to the 7DRL may look a bit like my work from last year. That's because the major feature I implemented this year was the game save ability. I wrote this using the new PHP and MySQL database skills I gathered during the school year. It was nice to have something real to practice my skills on.

I do have some ideas for a second MySQL and PHP application. Might be teaming up with a friend to work on this together. It might not be a cool roguelike game. But it will be educational. Will keep you posted on that. For now, you should check out my 7DRL game entry OL Rogue.

7DRL Finished

I declared success late last night on my 7DRL entry OL Rogue. Published what I got. I accomplished most of what I set out to do. You can save your game. The saved data gets put into the MySQL database on my web host. While that sounds simple, I had to do a lot for that to happen.

During my coding of the game save feature, I learned a number of things. One is that the mysql_query function in PHP can return one of two types. Specifically it might return the value FALSE on error. Didn't see that coming. I should have. It is in the documentation.

The other realization was that my PHP code should handle everything. Previously I thought I would bounce the user from PHP script to PHP script. However PHP is controlling the whole show for my game delivery. So I rolled most of the intermediate PHP pages into one super smart page.

In the future I want to be able to save more of the user's game state to a database. That includes the location you are in the dungeon, the position and hit points of the monsters in the dungeon, and other stats regarding equipment/items.

Finishing Touches

Last night I knocked out half of my TO DO list. Today I completed most of the remaining items. I spruced up the previously boring login and game save pages. Most of that was stylying. Added a picture here or there. Then I changed the colors of the main game to improve visibility.

I changed the order in which the dungeon levels are drawn. Before I saved the more complex layouts for last. Why delay? I made the more complex layouts first. I tested out a winning run into the dungeon. Check. After renaming some of my source files, I uploaded the release candidate to my web host.

Since I redid the database schema, I had to fight with PHPMyAdmin once again to get the database to match my new game version. Once that was done, I logged in online and played the version uploaded to my web host. Not sure if I will make any more tweaks. Most likely not. Tomorrow was the last day I planned to work on my 7DRL. I might just publish this version to the world.

Game Save Feature

Today I implemented the Save feature in my 7DRL entry OL Rogue. Well it is not a full save of the game. It just saves the player statistics. When you reload the game, the dungeon level gets regenerated.

The good news is that I already have the Load feature implemented. So now you can play the game, save your progress, and load your character back some time in the future. This is pretty much what I set out to accomplish this year.

Next step is to fix a hack I got for page navigation. Need to eliminate a middle man PHP page that you currently go through during login. Then I might mix up some of the actual game mechanics, like switching around the look of the levels.

Just got to make sure I can push this local version of the game up to my web host so all can play.

Making Progress

I continue to work on my 7DRL entry "OL Rogue". Previously I had completed character creation and login. Now I needed to actually run the game based on that character. Since I am concentrating on the PHP and MySQL database portion, I decided to reuse some old roguelike game code.

I needed to figure out how to launch my URL from PHP once the user logged in. Found out the best way to do this is through JavaScript. Man it has been a while since I took JavaScript in college. Next I needed to load all the player stats from the database using PHP. After I got one stat loaded, the rest followed the same pattern.

Now that I can load the player from the database, I have to implement the save to database feature. Currently I have only been testing with records I mocked up in my local database. After I get save working, I think I will push this version of the game up to my web host and call it a week.

Going Live

I decided to test my user creation code on my web host. I had to use some web tools to set up the MySQL database there. Did not like that I had to meet the host's requirements for database name. They did make it easy to create a database user that could interact with my database.

Normally I interact with MySQL using the command prompt. My web host makes me use phpMyAdmin. It takes a little getting used to. Had trouble interpreting the results of SQL queries. A nice surprise was that I could use the same code as I did locally as long as I named everything the same on my machine and my web host.

So what do I have right now? I can create characters, and then log in with them on my web host machine. Big deal. Now I need to figure out how to save the state of an existing roguelike game to my database. That is the task at hand for this week. I hope I get something playable done in the next few days.

Slow Start to OL Rogue

I had planned to start working on my 7DRL entry "OL Rogue" tomorrow. However why put it off a day? I got down to business tonight. First thing I did was break out my old PHP textbook. Then I studied one of the problems I solved from the MySQL database chapter.

I fired up my local WAMP server. Created a database and table to hold player information. Then I wrote/modified some PHP code to create a player and login as that player. Had a bunch of bugs from that task. Eventually I got something running on my local WAMP server.

Now I can create characters that have a name and a password. Then I can log in as that character as long as I have the right password. Not sure how secure this code it. Probably not very. But it is good enough since this is just a 7DRL game entry.

Next I will try to push this code up to my real web server.

The Birth of OL Rogue

It is that time of year again. Time to compete in the seven day roguelike (7DRL) tournament. Well I am really competing against the clock. Got one week to create a roguelike game. I have been doing this for years. Got to represent.

I figured I had a class in the PHP programming language. It covered a little bit of MySQL database development. I will finally add a game save option into my game. In fact, that is my primary goal this year. Produce a game that allows you to save and come back to it later.

Just so happens that I got a web hosting plan. It offers PHP and MySQL. Now is the time to take advantage of those features. My game will be OL Rogue. It stands for Online Rogue. See you in a week. I should be able to post my URL here when I am done.