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Mad Wizard's Maze (Working Title, Text-based RL)

A topic by AquaTsar created Mar 04, 2019 Views: 132 Replies: 6
Viewing posts 1 to 5

Based on this discussion on reddit about the differences between text-based games (Interactive Fiction) and roguelikes, I decided to experiment with that topic in this year's 7DRL challenge. Also, my main RL engine that I was going to use broke last week when I tried to add better AI and I didn't want to waste time trying to fix it.

For the Mad Wizard's Maze, players explore a procedurally-generated dungeon with the goal of finding a set number of treasures and then leaving. The commands, UI, and interaction are all in the vein of Interactive Fiction (i.e., text-only descriptions of things, and an abstract space to explore). The procedural part is straight-forward, but I'm trying to make the game as content-driven as possible. This way there is greater opportunity for interaction between various elements to occur, and hopefully that will contribute to more of a roguelike feel. I plan to add other things that are usually not in interactive fiction but would give more roguelike-tactical opportunities, such as sensing nearby things (hearing enemies in adjacent rooms, or seeing light or fire to hint at the next room), different types of attacks, and a chance to evade enemies in a room for X turns so that avoiding combat to trigger a trap (or something) is viable. As I said, this is an experiment.

As my day 1 draws to a close I managed to get an ugly UI working and a basic structure for the game. Players can start a game, get a predefined location with certain items, and do some basic clicking on the UI to indicate what should happen. The next two days will involve making the basic actions and interactions work, which will hopefully result in a "complete" game (i.e., you can start playing, can pick up the only treasure, go to the exit room, and then win). Screenshots will come tomorrow, after the UI doesn't have a bunch of placeholder text everywhere.

Haha, I don't mind placeholder text. I'm eager to see what you've got. I think this is a very cool idea.

Cool, I look forward to trying it out. I tried something like this one year but did not get very far. I hope you finish!

Me too, two years ago. Unfortunately, life happend and I didn't release game for 7DRL 2017. Yet, I think this kind of crossover has potential - good luck, AquaTsar!

Thanks! Getting through the UI and basic engine are always the most difficult parts for me, so if I can pull that off soon then I should be good for the rest of the challenge.

End of Day 2 and not much to report. Work and getting sick took up most of my time, and I broke the UI while adding movement between rooms (because of course I would). There was progress though, and I know what's wrong with the UI but need sleep before I can fix it properly. Items can be picked up and monsters move between rooms (if appropriate), though interaction is still limited. Tomorrow I plan to fix up the UI problems and add a bit more interaction. That should result in something screenshot-worthy.

End of Day 4. After fixing several bugs and adding some more content, progress is moving about one day slower than I'd like.

The goal is now to explore the dungeon, find as many treasures as you can, and then leave. A score is given for finding treasures, overcoming obstacles, and doing it quickly. A screenshot is below, though I'll pretty up the UI a bit more on Day 7. Although this is based on interactive fiction games, I'm not using console-style commands. Instead you click on the name of the object you want to look at, which gives a list of the things you can do with it. Clicking on an action will end your turn (I should probably indicate this with a different color).

Tomorrow (Day 5) is going to be adding more content, such as basic puzzles (lock/key) and traps. Then Day 6 is adding simple combat and attaching the generator. It'll be interesting to see how many weird grammatical issues will pop up with something so text heavy as this. I'm somewhat disappointed that combat won't be as detailed as I'd like, but I wanted exploration to be there too. I'm happy with how the UI works. It needs more polish in how it looks, but it works well enough.