Monday, 29 March 2021

The Secret Of Saladir

Back in the old days there were some interesting roguelike projects like Genrogue by Kornel Kisielewicz and there was also The Legend Of Saladir. It was a "thing" to have a major roguelike project that was going to be better than anything else, such a thing is I guess a nice dream to have for no-life programmer nerds. And obviously I had and still have my main project Kaduria, so I was in that same scene which now is mostly gone.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I was browsing github to find interesting projects to work on (like I'm doing with Advanced Rogue). The author had released Saladir's source code 8 years ago, and apparently no one knew or cared about it. However, sadly it's not open source, but then again neither is Teemu even the source code is available. Even worse, it's sad to find out that Saladir was never going to be the next major roguelike. The source code reveals a lot about the state of the project, let's just put it that way.

Sometimes I think the scene we had was more important than the games, because it was just a bunch of idiots dreaming about the next major roguelike. Obviously some of us knew what to do (Thomas Biskup with ADOM for example), but there were a lot of guys who didn't have a clue. I must admit I was one of those dudes, but my perseverance got me in where I'm now. Which does feel like I'm just in the beginning of my journey as a game developer.

Friday, 7 August 2020

I got cancelled

I was banned from Rogue Temple forums and they did it retroactively by first changing the "rules" and then not giving any chance to follow them. Not that I was breaking any sane rules even before it. The new rules talk about removing "toxic" people so it's complete SJW stuff. It's not surprising to see something like this, but it's not something you have to do. We still have some kind of freedom of speech, I guess?

I can't remember it that well but I think there were couple of people who stated that they leave Rogue Temple because they couldn't handle my spicy messages about roguelites vs. roguelikes. I wonder what happens now, will everyone just return to Rogue Temple and it's going to be one happy family. Will it become like Reddit's roguelike dev with bunch of clueless people who are making all the same mistakes we made when we were starting roguelike development. I feel like those people were just trolling, they were the trolls.

I wanted to write this comment on my ban, because there can be some people who wonder what happened. I'm not upset or anything, just disappointed. This "woke" culture is taking over and we just have to see where it leads us. When they are going to start burning books, or people?

This is going to save my time, because now I don't have to waste it by trying to keep up some kind of actual discussion about roguelike development with mostly trolls and people who are never going to create roguelikes. Even the so called "indie" game development scene has been taken over by people who want to extract money by abusing the legacy of some game genres, but only through false advertisement.

I think it would be hilarious to return to rec.games.roguelike.development, but I guess they have ruined it as well. Look at yourself. You are ruining everything from everyone, including yourself. Don't think you will be safe.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Bullet journal

I started a bullet journal over a week ago. It's not for planning, but in practice a diary with one liner explanations of mostly "important" stuff done, including game project entries for each time I'm working on them. I can't plan for the future, but bujo is making decisions easier to do, because each of them is a branch that takes you closer to some goal, or not.

It has already revealed that my life is quite boring. I knew that, but when you look at the entries back in time it strangely becomes more tangible. The way you can "plan" is change things, create new type of entries with activity that is somehow different than before. It's also forcing me to do at least something each day, rather than fall into my default mode which is watching youtube videos.

I think this is really nice tool for roguelike developers for sure, and it's something I wish I had figured out much earlier. Like most of the things anyway. I guess you can write journal to a text file, but my bullet journal is an actual physical notebook.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Game object systems

While designing a small engine for C# roguelike I've tried to figure out how to implement the object system. ECS (entity component system) is a typical way to handle it, but I don't like it. It's "simple" only from the surface, because the structure of code doesn't have to reflect the object hierarchy. You can add components (I would rather call them properties) to a base object class and that's it. No need to think about complex class hierarchy etc.

But, it's actually modeling the same amount of complexity anyway. There are people who always parrot the meme "use composition over inheritance" which I find quite annoying. If you think about a component, let's say a container. You would add it to a class and use it something like object.container.PutItem(); Yet, if you inherit from a container class and then use it like object.PutItemInContainer(); it's in practice the same thing. The only difference is that when you use inheritance you need to create larger and more rigid class hierarchy. I bet those parroting people never actually created a full class hierarchy for game objects, they just assume it's "ridiculous" etc. even it's simply modeling the same amount of complexity.

My guess is that it makes sense to use class hierarchy for things that don't change in the game object, and property/component list for external things that can be added and removed from the object. The roadblock in this design is that C# only implements single inheritance. Although you could somehow create such a simple class hierarchy that it doesn't need multiple inheritance by adding some things as components. It's a shame that Microsoft didn't include multiple inheritance to C#, because in my mind it is one of the core principles of object-oriented programming. It's like removing GOTO from BASIC language, because they think it's bad. C# does have interface, but I'm still trying to understand how it could replace multiple inheritance, because just by reading about it I don't get the concept.

I think it's a tempting idea to use a simple object class with component model, but I would rather accept the fact that it's a complex system and try to approach it that way. In OO languages it's quite silly to avoid actual object-oriented style, but that's what many people are doing. Then they complain that object-oriented languages are bad (C++ obviously the worst). Even though we have much less success from using something like pure functional languages in game programming.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Thinking everything

I'm in a middle of checking out gear use in Teemu. At first my plan was to remove items from inventory when they are in use, but then I went back to "Nethack" style where the item tells what use it's in. The difference is that you can do stuff like throw away your weapon and then you need to check out if it was part of a wardrobe etc. It's not as complicated as it seems, because you "only" need to check this in routines that discard items or change armour etc.

This falls in a category of "thinking everything" which sometimes is a part of roguelike programming. Rather than trying to understand how the code works you practically have to try out everything and see what happens. In Teemu it's even possible to eat away your armour. Creating a system like this can be both fun and a bit challenging, but I think it fits better in the style of this game.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Roguelike games in 2019

During the long span of development of my both roguelike projects I've been waiting for some great roguelike to appear, but it has not happened yet. It is a bit weird if you ask me, even there are many reasons why we don't have more roguelikes.

I think the numero uno reason is that they are difficult to create. I should know it, and I actually do. Even to have any kind of hope to release a major roguelike you need to grow up as a programmer if you already are not a good one. You need consistent planning and results that don't break up later.

But surely there are plenty of good programmers in indie scene? Well, my opinion is no. Open source and indie developers are in fact often even worse than professional programmers, who in most cases don't waste their time to roguelike game development anyway.

Another important reason is money. It is possible to make nice amount of money from game development, but it's easier to do with game genres that require way less time and work. Most game types are much easier to create compared to roguelikes or even traditional role-playing games (which are also quite hard). Some people are developing commercial roguelites which are light-weight roguelikes, because there is a market sector for them, but obviously they are not roguelikes.

Even after all these things I'm still puzzled about the small number of modern roguelike games, because I surely am one of the guys who would like to play a good roguelike game. There is ADOM, but it's a boring game with way too much grinding. DCSS is difficult and the developers seem to make it worse all the time which is quite hilarious, but then again it was never their own project as far as I know. The mindblowing thing is that we have games like Nethack as a great legacy, but building on top of that it would be possible to create far better roguelikes.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Code metrics tools for C++

This issue makes me somewhat annoyed when I think about it. Visual Studio doesn't have code metrics for "unmanaged" code which is C and C++ in particular. The reason must be that Microsoft doesn't really care about C++. They have to keep it for the vast amount of programs still written in C++ including game development, but there is less effort to include tools like metrics.

As far as I have searched there isn't a simple, free metrics plugin for Visual Studio, so there is that, too. There are some external metrics tools, but they seem like total overkill for what I'm looking for. I just would like to know how many lines of code the project has without running some external program. Visual Studio already knows how many lines an individual file has and how many classes etc. are in the project. It would be quite simple to collect that information and display it.

Programming a code metrics tool isn't impossible, but it takes some time and parsing C++ can be difficult sometimes, if you want to extract anything else than physical lines of code. I have written a parser that can find classes from a C++ file, so it would be a start. Maybe if I already didn't have tons of more important projects to do.

How about writing a plugin for Visual Studio? I don't know anything about it. How it's done etc. It can't be too easy, otherwise there would be a plugin to display C++ metrics I guess. Then again, maybe this is a non-issue in a sense that why would you want to know about the metrics of the project?