Another update about ThiefRL, my attempt to stuff the soul of Thief into the body of Rogue.
I'm continuing to tune guard behavior and finish up their ability to sense environmental changes wrought by the player. In general, giving the player more ways to alter or control the environment is a good thing, and guard senses is unexpectedly one of those ways. You leave a door open; a guard comes along and shuts it, though not without complaining. Bam! You've got a relationship.
This week I also added a ship captain who functions as both a sort of “trainer guard” and as a way to end the level. The thief has booked passage on the captain's ship, which will set sail at dawn. The captain patrols the deck and his cabin, and when he first sees the thief he reacts as any guard would. However, when he gets close enough to recognize his passenger he returns to patrol. After not seeing the thief for a while he will revert to normal, suspicious guard behavior. My hope is that this will give the player an opportunity to study guard senses and behavior up close in a benign environment.
Once all the loot in the city has been collected, talking to the ship captain will end the game (eventually, the level). I've got a simple end-game screen now so it's actually possible to win the game! I must say, this makes it feel much more game-like.
Adding a set of things for each guard to look after in the environment has made the game much more challenging, (hopefully) in a good way. The environment now tends to reset so you can't just go around turning off all the lights and have the run of the place.