Thursday, 1 March 2007

The stage is set...

printf( "Hello, world" );

Let's set the tone; this will (hopefully) track the course of my attempts at writing home-grown games. As a professional codemonkey, sometimes the very last thing I want to do of an evening is stare at an IDE and write yet more code, so I'm thinking this will be sporadically updated.

Still, the goad of updating this journal may help push along development of ideas when the going gets rough. Writing code to do shiny things is easy... finishing even a little pet game is stupidly hard. There's so much to do that is painful, or dull, or otherwise requires more commitment than can be scavenged from the damp recesses of my soul.

My current, hopefully not-doomed project is a simple 3D Roguelike. For a quick rundown of the Roguelike concept and some common elements, Wikipedia is helpful as always. Mine own effort is intended to have traditional 2D movement and such, but representing the world with 3D eyecandy. The hope is to end up with a visually rich and immersive environment for the same kind of thoughtful play evoked by a good Roguelike.

Other games have done similar shiny things to the Roguelike formula. Diablo (and all its offspring, legitimate and by-blows both) springs to mind, with a special mention to Fate as I played it relatively recently. These sacrifice a lot of the complexity of the originals in updating the gameplay to be real-time, with an interface suitable for the quick reactions required by such. And very fun they are, but I miss turn-based combat occasionally.

Anyway, the high-level design is rough, and for the moment I'm focusing on getting the base technology up and running; I'd like to get the crucial elements affording roguelike gameplay implemented using 3D elements rather than a flat ASCII map and see where that leads.

For completeness, a small screenshot of the progress so far. Not much, but its only been in development for a few days... and no asset pipeline means nasty test meshes and textures. You can just about make out the solid black 'shadows' showing the field of view.

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