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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dev Diary: Strange Little Dungeon

Things have been going well with the web-based roguelike - enough so that I'm getting a little tense. There has to be some kind of crazy roadblock ahead. Some kind of bizarre technical problem that keep me from simply sitting down and coding. I keep thinking that something will be more complicated than it actually turns out.

I've got basic lighting and line of sight. Line of sight proved so simple, I'm embarrased it intimidated me at all. It works just as anyone would expect - it walks a line from the player to the point it is trying to light. If it hits an obstacle, it stops and doesn't light that area. It clicked once the lighting code was working - that the two would be instrinsic to each other. It's not identical to a lot of stock roguelike engines - rooms do not autofill with light. Instead, players cast ambient light and the dungeon can have independent light sources. If you want to make dungeons darker, reduce the ambient light. If you want to make it daytime, make the ambient light huge. Certain objects, like walls, once seen will be "remembered". This way players can backtrack easier if they want. This might also be an option to turn off for dungeon designers, I'm not sure (there will probably be an automap as well).

It's a strange little dungeon right now. You can open doors (and light reacts properly) but you can't close them. You can kill monsters, but they can't kill you. Also, you can't walk over their corpses. You can look at chests, but you can't open them. It's essentially a gallery of half-measures and futile actions.

Next up is probably combat.

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