Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Plans for 2014

This year was not so great. I did improve Brick Atelier, but it's still missing important tools which are obvious each time I try to draw something with it. Maybe I have to find a real painting program that has the features I'm looking for.

Teemu is now in pretty good shape, the next version will be released in about two months or so. I hope it will be something much closer to a roguelike, with new more complex RPG system and more sandbox-style approach in the gameplay.

Kaduria is a mystery as always.. It's got a lot in it, but more content is needed. Things like AI, combat, level themes etc. I'm only happy that it has such a solid engine without tons of bugs.

This year's roguelike for me was Forays Into Norrendrin. The new version is amazing. It's highly tactical, combat-oriented game with solid user interface. I like all the small details like sliding along walls when walking to them diagonally and easy look command.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

GUI themes

The optional background color was extended to entire color themes which there are seven to be choose from. Some areas still need to be adjusted as there were only static colors, but it's been such a fun actually compared to more generic game programming. Color themes surely makes the game look different and there are those lower contrast choices that was discussed. It was surprisingly easy to match background colors for the font colors. Only black was problem and still kind of is in the default black theme (black font on black background) but a viable workaround was a brighter reverse type shadow for that font color.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Set of features

Roguelike is a game with a number of features, randomly working together to form a totally random gaming experience that even the developer can't explain.

When I started to plan Teemu's next version I had already started to use a system where a number of features is put to to do list. I think sometimes planning can go too detailed and the plan itself becomes the project, most likely to fail even in the planning process let alone when the game is implemented.

A short generic list of to do items is a viable idea, because that way you can limit the number of features to important ones and try to think how long it will take. Not only that but I have started to keep the initial feature as simple as possible, in the logic of start small ideology. That way you can both try to implement the feature sooner than later and also test it in real world.

We humans want to think that our ideas and plans are perfect, but more often they are not. That's why simple and fast sketch of the feature is something that can create a better gameplay even you didn't expect it to happen.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Screenshot from v1.3

The background graphics will still change a bit, but this is how the new font looks:

After a long battle I finally think the message routine is working. Of course all I had to do is show N number of messages from the tail of the list. That way it looks like it's descending from the top and then starts to scroll. Like, that was it? Well, I think it's pretty much ready now, other than it could be nice is show current turn's messages in white and previous messages grey or something like that so it would be easier to see what happened during a turn.

There will be some more GUI adjusting, but then that part is ready and I have to concentrate on the gameplay itself.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

New fonts and stuff

The stuff has been an attempt to re-write the message routine. How hard it can be? I realized that for re-displaying the messages when screen is redraw you simply display 5 (or less in the beginning) messages from the list. It's really that simple.

The problem is again the repeat count for each message which doesn't count as an actual message, but should be displayed while not increasing the line count. Maybe I try to do something too complex for it, but I can't make it work. Maybe it's already there when message is added to the list, I just should record the number of messages displayed at each turn and if more than zero then re-display it.

I'm sure it wont work no matter how much my logic says it will. Besides I still have to solve what happens if there are more than 5 messages per turn, in which case -more- should wait for rest of messages.

New fonts are cool. The size is optimized for full HD resolution, but for laptops and smaller resolution there will be smaller font option later, hopefully using the new font in smaller size. There was some pixel editing to get the original monospace fonts to fit in their actual grid (and also changing some ugly letters), so much that in fact I created a new set of fonts.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Background color

While I have to think how I'm going to implement that new message routine I can always improve other parts of Teemu. An idea I had from one discussion at Rogue Temple was background color as option. This is another thing from the past (maybe it's in some current roguelikes) that the background color is always black. But sometimes it could be nice to try another background color, because black with bright colors can have too much contrast.

I have already programmed a background color option, but it's only for GUI parts and needs matching color sets for things like window background, stats, cursor color etc. Then there is the gameview which I think could have another option for background color, but it needs even more careful approach as not to make some font colors too difficult to see.

I think it's now likely that 1.3 is not ready before Christmas, but it's possible that it wont be delayed to next summer either.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Message lines

Re-writing message output. The thing with roguelikes has been that there is a single line on top of the screen and you get -more- when there are more message that can fit into that line. But why should it be like that with modern displays when you can just add more lines?

I've run into some implementation troubles with multiple message lines which is and isn't a surprise. You would think it's easy and for most programmers it is. Well, maybe one thing confusing me is trying to re-write the old rather than designing a multiple line message routine from the scratch.

I was thinking also to make the direction of message flow optional. I think it's easier to understand when message scroll up and the newest message is on bottom. Then again some games display messages on bottom of the screen and messages scroll down. It could be actually possible to make both optional in Teemu, just in case.

Other than that the Player class is almost done and started a gui color class mainly for optional background colors. When I get this message trouble solved it's also easier to finish routines that display messages, because they have to change somewhat, in some places.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Exciting development report

I've focused on fixing Player class. When thinking of the new combat system it could be quite easy to do, because you need to change only limited amount of source code.

There were not one but three bugs in Player::Eat to my surprise, but then again when I was programming the original version it was like an extended 7DRL so things went fast. Those bugs were only logic related (didn't crash the game or anything like that). The first one was that you couldn't eat a coconut, but it was erased from the inventory as if consumed. Then there were a check against item type if the item you ate was your weapon. It could fail. The third bug was that everything was delicious (fresh) or foul while there should have been also normal food items.

First day of this Christmas development time was quite nice. Mostly I know what to do, so everything feels much easier than when I'm programming Kaduria.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Teemu - Fifth Anniversary Christmas version (plan)

I'm trying to get the next version ready before Christmas. It's going to be called 'Fifth Anniversary Christmas version' even in the case that I'm not going to get it ready in time. It'll most likely in a middle of summer when it's released.

I've already browsed through the source code here and there to find something to fix. It's mostly content - those new level themes I have been talking about. But it can be a lot more if the story is changed. Not to mention the gameplay system itself.

Wish I can finish it this time, because I've abandoned this project many times since the initial releases.