My next blatant theft of a feature from another roguelike will probably be the room names from Unangband. I've deliberately not looked at the code for this on that game, but am designing my own system. I have the implementation worked out in my head for this already, but as ever I need more lubrication for my creative juices!
So let's imagine, say, a circular room in an undead themed level. What could it be called?
- The most straightforward would be random selection from a list generic names such as "The Slaughterhouse", "The Crypt", "The Necopolis". This would have to be a large list to avoid reusing names.
- This could be enhanced by adding one of more random adjectives before and after the name, e.g. "The Hidden Slaughterhouse", "The Crypt of Despair", "The Crypt of Hidden Dreams".
- And then we can consider the role of uniques. If we generate a unique in the level inside a room, name the room after the unique: "The Crypt of Barney", for example.
- Now, additionally, depending on the name, selected, we could reverse the traditional way of generating dungeons and let the name drive the dungeon features. For example, consider a room called "The Hidden Slaughterhouse" - use of the term "Hidden" would mean the entrances to this room are sealed up with diggable walls (or doors) - and use of the term "Slaughterhouse" would mean that there would be loads of corpses generated in the room, as well as certain types of monsters.
- There could also be passive effects tied to the room, for example, with "The Hidden Slaughterhouse" there could be a smell that makes the character nauseous whilst inside it.
Yes, I know I'm probably going through the same thought process that Andrew Doull went through about ten years ago, but I'm increasingly convinced random generic dungeons can't cut it any more in roguelikes.
So yet again, its time to ask: thoughts? ideas? Comments are most welcome.