Sunday, 25 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
I've personally never used stashes when playing Roguelikes that offer them, mainly due to the built-in annoyance factors (both in terms of cost or travel time) and the amplication of the inventory management subgame. However, often they are a useful enhancement to the gameplay of a roguelike, and as such, I'd like to offer their facility in a future version of Kharne.
Buying, hiring or even stealing portable stashes (of various sizes, filled or unfilled) could also be implemented.
Monday, 19 January 2009
1. What can Roguelike Developers learn from MMORPGs?
2. Are there any features in an MMORPG that should (or could) be implemented in Roguelikes?
3. Are there any features from Roguelikes that would work well in an MMORPG?
There are a few features in MMORPGs that I'm considering adding to the (ever-expanding) todo list for Kharne once I restart development, but in the meantime I'd like to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see in Roguelikes in general (not just Kharne).
Sunday, 18 January 2009
You can download v0.0.2 here if you're on Windows and here if you use Linux.
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
So, in the absence of my perceptible progress on my own creation, I'll be regularly rounding up some of the most notable (not necessarily the best) recent threads from the newsgroup here and giving my own two-penneth worth.
- "Keep it simple, stupid". For me, the pertinent post was made in this thread by copx regarding rewrites of Roguelikes. The KISS principle has particular meaning for myself - as I've said before was one of the main reasons the original version of Kharne failed. Although I suspect it won't happen due to the developers seemingly having their heads screwed on correctly, am I alone in thinking that Crawl Stone Soup is heading down the same road as Crawl v4.1 and in danger of becoming an (unintentional) overcomplicated mess? Who rewrites the rewriters?
- "Intriguing new Line Of Sight algorithm". Why oh why oh why oh why? New FOV algorithms may be interesting from a purely academic point of view (in the same way is probably fun to recalculate the Chandrasekhar limit for White Dwarves from basic physical laws), but do any roguelikes actually use any of these wonderful and new esoteric algorithms?
- "The Rogue Bard unveiling". Free music for Roguelikes. I've listened to some of these and they're excellent. However, whilst I have vague ideas of including a music engine in some distanct completed version of Kharne, I would not include any music along with the distribution. Music is, to me, too personal a thing for it to work with a Roguelike out of the box (although the idea of exploring a dungeon to the sounds of The Place Where The Black Stars Hang by Lustmord is somewhat appealing).
- "Crawl YASD - guillotined for no reason & orcs in Lair". Alright, this is a refugee from rec.games.roguelike.misc. But it illustrates simultaneously how evil and how excellent Crawl currently is. Crawl Stone Soup seems to be the roguelike to aim for at the moment, and this is a complement to the developers. It would be a real shame if it jumped the shark.
Friday, 9 January 2009
Hence Kharne, if it ever gets released will probably be LGPL at most. It cannot be GPL since it uses 3rd party VCL components which themselves are not-GPL compatible (for the record, the license terms of said components allow embedding and distribution in free software).
Getting back to Angband, a couple of change in the new version have caught my programmer's eye. Firstly,
"Set up an event system for UI display updates, where the game communicates with the UI by sending messages saying that something's changed that the UI might be interested in, rather than deciding that specific things should be redraw. The main screen updates all use this system now. Amongst other things, this system should help things like the borg and graphical frontends, because they can hook right into changes in state. (#348) "
Obviously Angband is at heart (and still is) a console application, but it is interesting to note they appear to have finally moved to a paradigm that window-based GUIs have had since almost the year dot. Its a heck of a lot easier for the UI to be in charge of updating the screen than it is for screen updates to be scattered willy-nilly about the rest of the code. As I'm not familiar with the Angband codebase to any extent beyond being "inspired" by its dungeon generation algorithm, I don't know the exact reasons for the switch now, but being a professional software engineer in my non-Roguelike existance, I'd put money on two things: 1) refactoring the UI code was most likely a massive job and they had to wait until they had a sucker^H^H^H^H^H^Hvolunteer lined up to do it, and 2) the previous code was getting really really REALLY unmaintainable.
The second change of note ties somewhat into this recent thread on r.g.r.d:
"Monster HP is now specified as an average value around which to randomise, instead of using a "12d5"-type calculation. Uniques always have the number of HPs specified in the monster.txt file, like before."
At first glance, this sounds like an attempt to blunt the fangs of that fearsome elite mob, the RNG. Is this such a good thing? I'm not sure. For standard monsters, isn't part of the "fun" finding one that goes down like a sack of potatoes, or one that is hard as nails? Or is the fact that one orc may have six times as many hit points as his brother simply random-masochism or the sake of it?