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Untitled Dungeon Crawler


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#1 jrok OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:58 PM

I've shelved work on "Charge!" until my Harmony cart ships, and in the meantime I've been playing around with the idea of an RPG. I've never been much of an RPG player, but this thread got me thinking that there might be some opportunities to make a simple-but-fun one for the VCS. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to try to develop a DPC game that was more reliant on the stack, and maybe even something we could work on as a community project.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

Posted Image

Controls:

Right Joystick - Move the active player in four directions. Each move diminishes the "Action Bar" beside the Inventory. Once all moves are complete, the focus shifts to the next character in the player's adventuring party.

Left Joystick - Move the selection cursor (yellow line) to highlight an item from the inventory to use, or change/use the current character's armor and weapon. When an item is selected (by pressing left fire button), use the joystick to move the targeting cursor to the desired target.

Left Fire Button - Equip/use the item the selection cursor is currently highlighting. First press readies the item and brings up the targeting cursor (blinking blue square). Second press activates the item.

Right Fire Button - Cancel item equip/use (eliminates blinking blue targeting cursor)


Dev Notes

I'm thinking gameplay would consist of selecting three characters of any class (using mostly generic fantasy archetypes like "Warrior", "Rogue", "Wizard", etc) to embark on a quest for treasure and kill-points.

Currently, the program stores to and retrieves from the stack the following properties: Character Class, Brawn, Agility, Knowledge, Hit Points, Weapon, Armor, Inventory1 & Inventory2. Most of these are not doing anything useful right now, but when the character focus shifts between your two party members you will see that character's weapon, armor, current hitpoints and inventory loaded from the stack into the bottom part of the display.

The idea of switching out the inactive player characters graphics with playfield pixels is to reduce flicker (either manual or via batari's built-in multiplexing). Ultimately, it would be great to switch in GRP0 graphics on the fly, so that whichever character (whether a player-character or enemy) had the focus would be able to move unrestricted and flicker-free. It might also be a good idea to develop an AI that would avoid placing more than two enemies/items in a row at any given time... but that's neither here nor there at this point. :)

To demonstrate the stack feature is working, you can try walking into any of the enemies. In the full game, this would trigger a combat test, but for now it just depletes the current character's hitpoints. I'm hoping to use the stack in a similar way to load the stats and inventories of on-screen enemies during their turns, and carefully pull up the relevant stats of targets whenever necessary.

The Equip/Use does nothing right now, except to demo the interface itself. The idea is that the left joystick/fire-button is used for equipping and using items and missile weapons, while the left joystick/fire-button is used for moving the characters around the map.

The source is still lame and uncommented, so I'll have to clean it up a bit before posting. One thing that I've been trying - and, so far, failing :lol: - to do is to adapt SeaGTGruff's inventory strip for the DPC. The inventory I cobbled together for this demo is clunky and extremely limited, but a more flexible one would probably enhance gameplay quite a bit. Frankly, there's enough gray-matter flowing around these parts for lots of nice features (Savekey, Vox, etc).

For now, this is more of a mockup and food-for-thought than a true demo, I guess. But part of me feels like together we come come up with a fairly badass VCS RPG.

Attached File  DungeonRaid_demo_082211.bin   32KB   118 downloads

"What do you think, sirs?"

Posted Image

Edited by jrok, Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:33 AM.


#2 DemonoidTentacle OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:41 AM

Looks right up my alley :thumbsup:

#3 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:41 AM

You sir, are such a tease!

Seriously, that looks good and the ideas sound very good. I love the sprites and control scheme.

#4 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:13 AM

After the DPC+ stuff is working properly, I'd like to make an adventure game using only one joystick. No hit points and turn taking, just real-time fighting/avoiding, treasure hunting, and maybe resource collecting to build something or to keep a village or family fed and happy. I have all kinds of fuzzy ideas and pieces of things that I need to bring into focus before DPC+ is out of beta testing.

#5 jrok OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:17 AM

After the DPC+ stuff is working properly, I'd like to make an adventure game using only one joystick. No hit points and turn taking, just real-time fighting/avoiding, treasure hunting, and maybe resource collecting to build something or to keep a village or family fed and happy.


I suppose this could be played with one joystick, too. Maybe clicking the right joystick fire button could just switch between the map display and the items?

I have all kinds of fuzzy ideas and pieces of things that I need to bring into focus before DPC+ is out of beta testing.


Why not just jump in and start programming? Then, you could help out with beta testing while programming your game.

#6 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:55 AM

Why not just jump in and start programming? Then, you could help out with beta testing while programming your game.

Because my brain is like a moldy cantaloupe:

http://www.atariage....25#entry2352625

#7 Animan OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:15 PM

"What do you think, sirs?"


Posted Image

MST3K references aside, it looks really good. Alternating the players like that is pretty damn clever.

Edited by Animan, Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:33 PM.


#8 jrok OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:52 PM

Here's a new version with the following changes:

  • You control three adventurers instead of two: A warrior, a wizard and a rogue.
  • Very simple "combat" added as proof of concept:
  • Enemy stats are loaded to and from the stack, but for now only the hit points and armor are actually tested.
  • To attack an enemy, just move into it. Each attack costs one action point
  • If the attack is successful, you hear a high pitched "chop" sound, and the enemy loses a hit point. If you miss, you hear a low-pitched whump.
  • Once the enemy's hit points are fully drained, it is cleared from play.

The combat mechanic right now is a very basic "8-sided dice roll vs. armor rating" test, but eventually it will be modified by stuff like weapon ratings, attack skill and other conditions. I think I'll try to get basic enemy AI and turn structure done first, though. After that, I suppose I'll have to address map creation and movement. I'm thinking about going with static placement first, and once it's running solid to go back and build in randomized map/door/monster generation. The graphics are all placeholders for now... even though I'm a bona fide "sprite nerd", this is one project where I simply don't care about them, and probably won't until the very end :)

Cheers,
J

Attached File  DungeonRaid_demo_082211b.bin   32KB   118 downloads


In other news, got my Harmony Cart today! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Edited by jrok, Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:24 PM.


#9 PAC-MAN-RED OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:07 PM

In other news, got my Harmony Cart today! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


But that means that this game project is shelved and you're back to working on Charge! :P I'll mention this anyway, When one characters turn is over, I often end up moving the next character a few steps before I realize it. It'd be great if there was a delay between switching characters, maybe have the character that's being switched to blink a few times, or highlight in some way, before switching to it.

Illya

#10 Byte Knight OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 PM

Awesome looking "flicker-free" demo! You'll need a lot of variables for this game, but the stack should work well for a turn-based game...

#11 jrok OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:41 PM

When one characters turn is over, I often end up moving the next character a few steps before I realize it. It'd be great if there was a delay between switching characters, maybe have the character that's being switched to blink a few times, or highlight in some way, before switching to it.


I suppose something like that could be added eventually, as a bit of spit polish. Or maybe a button press can be required at the end of each character's turn.

You'll need a lot of variables for this game, but the stack should work well for a turn-based game...


Yeah, I think the trickier part will be tracking the status and locations of off-screen monsters throughout the dungeon, and determining how many total objects (monsters/items/treasure) can inhabit a room simultaneously. This shouldn't be a problem for treasure/items, or for "guard"-type monsters who don't leave their origin rooms, but "wandering"-types will require a bit of memory juggling. Also, keeping track of inventory will require some thought, especially if it's going to be accessible on the main game screen, rather than switching to some sort of "inventory" screen to select items. :ponder:

#12 Piggles OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:23 PM

You are a master programmer!

#13 DJT OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2011 11:30 AM

Wow... this looks awesome!!!

#14 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2011 1:14 PM

Wow, looks great!

#15 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:26 PM

Wandering monsters could be indicated by a variable that has values for A. Type of monster and B. Duration until it reaches the current screen. This would avoid using an array for the maze/pathfinding.

Since the monsters can usually traverse the same path as the player pathfinding per se isn't really needed. You could make it more realistic by clearing the wandering monster variables if the player closes a door.

If a monster that is capable of wandering is in the current room when the player exits that monster can overwrite the variable for an older off-screen wandering monster.

This system doesn't take into account stats for the wandering monsters but, hey! maybe they took a snack break while hunting the player :P

Edited by theloon, Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:34 PM.





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